Richard Sambrook (born 24 April 1956) is Professor of Journalism and Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. For 30 years, until February 2010, he was a BBC journalist and news executive. He spent ten years on the management board of the BBC becoming successively Director of BBC Sport, BBC News and, latterly, Director of BBC World Service and Global News. From 2010 until 2012 he was Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer of the Edelman public relations agency.
Sambrook was educated at Maidstone Technical High School, at the University of Reading (BA in English) and at Birkbeck College, University of London (MSc in politics). His career began in local newspapers in South Wales.
His time at the BBC was almost entirely in daily news. He was a programme editor, news editor and, later, Head of Newsgathering when the Corporation won a number of awards for its international news coverage. He merged radio and television news, and domestic and World Service newsgathering during this time, resulting in the world's largest broadcast news operation. He was acting Director of Sport in 2000, and became Director of News in 2001.
Sambrook defended in June/July 2003 what became the highly controversial Today programme report that the Blair government had in its September Dossier knowingly exaggerated claims relating to Iraq's supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction. On 20 July, he confirmed that Dr. David Kelly had been the source of the news item. He later gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry into Kelly's apparent suicide.
Sambrook became Director of the World Service and Global News in September 2004. He oversaw major restructuring of the World Service, and its opening of Arabic and Persian television, as well as commercial interactive services.
He is a Trustee of the WWF-UK and of the International News Safety Institute for which he led an inquiry into the deaths of journalists around the world. From 2006-2009, he was Vice President of the European Broadcasting Union and represented public broadcasters on the advisory group to the UN's Internet Governance Forum. He was a member of the leadership committee of the Global Media AIDS Initiative, established by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2004. He was on the advisory board of the British Council and was formerly Chairman of the BBC's international charity, the World Service Trust, and a trustee of the free-speech NGO Article 19. He is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and of the Royal Society of Arts.
Sambrook is married with two children.
- Are Foreign Correspondents Redundant? (Reuters Institute)
- Appointed Professor of Journalism
- BBC press office biography
- Killing The Messenger report for INSI
- The case against censorship, 2005
- Interview in the Guardian
- Interview by Ray Snoddy, the Independent
- Columbia University Poliak Lecture , 2005
- Speaking at European Journalism Centre Conference