Ben de Pear is promoted to the top job at Channel 4 News after seven years at the award-winning programme, most recently as head of foreign news.
Ben joined Channel 4 News in 2005 as a senior foreign producer, later becoming head of foreign news. In that time he has bolstered and driven forward the programme’s reputation for unrivalled foreign news.
He led an award-winning team of foreign correspondents, including those who produced the BAFTA-winning coverage from the 2011 Japan earthquake. He has also commissioned and produced respected freelance journalists who, in the last year alone, have been awarded by the RTS, Amnesty and One World Media for Channel 4 News films.
As head of foreign news, Ben led the programme’s investigation into the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war which prompted a UN investigation and global calls for a war crimes tribunal. This formed the basis of last year’s award-winning Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields- produced by ITN for Channel 4.
Ben’s promotion follows the departure of Jim Gray, who left in June after editing the programme for 14 years.
John Hardie, chief executive of ITN said: “Ben is an incredible journalistic talent. But just as importantly, he understands the Channel 4 News spirit – its passion, its personality. It is hard to describe, but it is in his DNA. The opportunity to lead Channel 4 News was one that attracted some incredible talent from across the industry. We were impressed by the enthusiasm and vision we saw throughout the process, but in the end, Ben de Pear brought something unique.”
Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4 head of news and current affairs added: “This is a very special job and we wanted someone who could deliver on the expectation our viewers and users have for indepth news and analysis delivered with personality and passion that you can’t get anywhere else. Ben has proved himself as a distinguished journalist, an instinctive commissioner and an inspiring leader for the best foreign team in the business. He will bring all of that to this job of a lifetime.”
Before joining Channel 4 News, Ben worked at Sky News – initially as a foreign producer and latterly as the channel’s Africa editor based in Johannesburg. During his time at Sky, he obtained the only interview with Robert Mugabe since the turn of the century. He also produced Sky News’ RTS-winning coverage of the Kosovo conflict in 1999, and the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
On being promoted to the top job at the daily news programme, Ben said: “Channel 4 News is the programme I’ve always wanted to work for, so I feel truly honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable team. I want us to continue to do what we do best, and even take it up a level – to take risks, to challenge authority and to hold the powerful to account.”