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  1. Professor Stewart Purvis

portrait of Professor Stewart Purvis

Professor Stewart Purvis

Professor of TV Journalism

School of Arts and Social Sciences , Department of Journalism

Contact Information


Visit Stewart

AG33, College Building


Postal Address

City University London
Northampton Square



Stewart Purvis became City University London's first Professor of Television Journalism in 2003. He is now a non-executive director of Channel Four, a Vice-President of the Royal Television Society and a trustee of SSVC (producers of British Forces Broadcasting).

A local radio reporter, a regional television presenter and Sunday tabloid freelance while still at university, he was chosen as one of the BBC's first three News Trainees in 1969. He moved to ITN in 1972 where he went on to win Royal Television Society awards and two BAFTA awards as Editor of Channel Four News. Professor Purvis is generally credited with creating the programme in its current ethos. He then went on to become Editor-in-Chief of ITN and then Chief Executive, and also President of the international news channel, EuroNews, based in Lyon, France.

After Professor Purvis retired from ITN in 2003 he became a Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at Oxford University and from 2007 to 2010 he was Ofcom's Partner for Content and Standards and also chaired the UK Government's Media Literacy Working Group in 2009. Amongst other roles, Professor Purvis has advised the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications on the governance of the BBC and on behalf of DCMS, he was the independent chair of a multi-party negotiation to progress digital radio in the UK.

Among the honours he has received, in 2000 he was made a CBE for services to broadcast journalism, in 2005 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Law by Exeter University and in 2009 he received the Royal Television Society's Gold Medal for an outstanding contribution to television.

In September 2013 he published, with City colleague Jeff Hulbert, 'When Reporters Cross the Line', based on a BBC Radio Four programme of the same title which he made in 2011. Professor Purvis is used as a media commentator by British and international broadcasters and is one of the regular reviewers of the press on Sky News's 'Press Preview'.


Journal Article (2)

  1. Purvis, S. (30 Oct 2012). ‘Managing Murdoch’: How the regulator that became a problem then became a solution. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 1(2), 143-155. doi: 10.1386/ajms.1.2.143_1

    [publisher's website]

  2. Riddell, P., O'Neill, O., Hutton, W., Franks, S., Moore, M., Purvis, S. and Tench, D. (2007). Tony Blair's 'media' speech: The commentators. POLITICAL QUARTERLY, 78(4), 488-498.

Book (1)

  1. Purvis, S., Purvis, S. and Hulbert, J. (05 Sep 2013). When Reporters Cross the Line.The heroes,the villains,the hackers and the spies. UK: Biteback. ISBN: 1849545839.

    [publisher's website]

Chapter (1)

  1. Purvis, S. (19 Jan 2012). Journalism after Hackgate. Mair, J. and Keeble, R. (Ed.), The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial (pp. 301-308) UK: Abramis Academic Publishing. ISBN: 1845495330.

    [publisher's website]

Other Activities

Events/Conferences Attended (1)

  • 'Can We Trust our News' seminar, Dublin City University in association with 16 Sep 2013, Video of presentation at

Television Programmes (3)

  • Newsnight, 22 Oct 2012 on BBC2. Interview by Jeremy Paxman about BBC 'Savile crisis'.
  • Newsflash: Stories That Stopped the World, 06 Nov 2013 on ITV. This ITN documentary looks at the news-gathering stories behind the scenes of several \"stories that stopped the world\", with accounts from the newsreaders who broke the newsflashes and those who worked to gather the news -ITV billing. Ammongst those interviewed is former ITN Editor Stewart Purvis..
  • BBC News, 10 Nov 2012 on BBC News Channel and website. A BBC Newsnight report in which an abuse victim accused a former Tory politician of sex abuse should not have been broadcast, BBC director general George Entwistle says.Stewart Purvis, former Editor in Chief of ITN, questioned why Mr Entwistle had been unaware of what was to be broadcast.He said that George Entwistle's interview on Today was the \"most painful\" he had ever heard from a BBC director general. URL for video of interview :

Radio Programmes (5)

  • The Media Show, 26 Jan 2011 on BBC Radio Four. 'Stewart Purvis, the former Partner for Content & Standards at Ofcom, looks at the recent Ofcom report into News Corps bid for BSkyB'..
  • The Media Show, 17 Jul 2013 on BBC Radio Four. Stewart Purvis is interviewed about Ofcom's decision to investigate the broadcast interviews with Anjem Choudhary.
  • The Media Show, 28 Aug 2013 on BBC Radio Four. 'Stewart Purvis will be in the studio discussing his new book, which examines the lengths reporters on the front line of war and famine go to in order to get a story'. -BBC billing.
  • The Media Show, 05 Jun 2013 on BBC Radio Four. UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he expects to be included in leader debates at the 2015 general election and may go to court if needed. Behind the scenes, broadcasters are exploring ways of staging debates both in 2015 and potentially next year before the Euro elections. So what might happen? Do all the leaders want to take part? Who has a veto? Isabel Oakeshott, political editor of the Sunday Times and Stewart Purvis, former ITN editor and Ofcom partner discuss..
  • When Reporters Cross the Line, 03 Feb 2011 on BBC Radio Four -60 min programme in Archive on 4. 'How did the notion of journalistic impartiality develop? Former ITN editor Stewart Purvis explores how the line that separates reporting from opinion - and even propaganda - has been drawn and redefined over the past 80 years. Through rare archive and through interviews with some of the twentieth century's best-known correspondents, he charts the move from wartime censorship and Cold War clashes between broadcasters and the Government to more authored styles of reporting' -BBC billing.

Other Activities (1)

  • Advisor to House of Lords Select Committee on Communications for their 2011 report on the Governance and Regulation of the BBC
    URL of the report: