BBC's Director of News to receive honorary doctorate
Published February 2012
The BBC's Director of News, Helen Boaden, will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of the support she has given to budding young media and journalism students over many years.
Helen, who is the first woman to hold the position of Director of BBC News, studied English at the University of Sussex, where she was taught by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, Professor Stuart Laing.
She has been a strong supporter of the Broadcast Media Centre at the University of Brighton in Hastings since its inception in 2006 and has given lectures to its students as well as advice on how to organise visits to various parts of BBC News.
Professor Laing said: “Helen has been incredibly generous with her time and her knowledge and expertise encouraging young, unconfident students to develop and flourish in the media profession.”
Helen started her broadcasting career at a New York radio station before doing her radio journalism training at The London College of Printing (now part of The University of The Arts London). She worked in local radio before joining BBC Radio 4 in the 1980s. She presented Woman’s Hour from 1985-91 and File on Four from 1991-4. She moved into television and worked on the political programme, Brass Tacks.
In 1994 she became Head of Current Affairs at BBC Manchester before taking on the role of Head of Business Programmes, BBC News, in 1997. In 1998, she was promoted to Head of Current Affairs at the BBC, the first woman to hold the post.
She was Controller of BBC4 from 2000-2004 and Controller of BBC7 2002-2004. She has been Director of BBC News since 2004 and is responsible for the BBC’s news output in England and across the world along with current affairs, including programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama.
She is a Visiting Professor of University of The Arts London and a Fellow of The Radio Academy. She also has an MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Helen will be presented with her honorary doctorate on Thursday 9 February during graduation ceremonies at the Dome, Brighton.