Purvis turns professor in City signing

Stewart Purvis, who retired this summer as ITN editor-in-chief and chief executive after 31 years with the broadcaster, has been appointed the first chair of television journalism at City University.

He will join the journalism department this month, bringing “top-level experience and expertise” to teaching students, the university said.

As professor, Purvis will contribute to the new diploma in television current affairs, which began in September under the guidance of programme director Lis Howell (Press Gazette, 18 September).

Howell said his appointment would provide a vital bridge from the department to the broadcast journalism industry at a time of change.

Purvis said: “I have always been impressed by the work of the department of journalism at City and the professionalism of its graduates, some of whom now work at ITN. I am very much looking forward to working with the journalists of the future at a time when the role of the broadcast journalist has never been under more public scrutiny.”

Rod Allen, head of the Department of Journalism at City, commented: “I am very pleased that Stewart is joining us. He will play a key role in the development of our television provision, which is a major element of our strategy for the next few years.”

Purvis joined ITN in 1972 as a newsroom producer, going on to become an award-winning journalist and field producer. He was honoured with two Royal Television Society Awards for producing live coverage of the Pope’s tours of Britain and Poland and the return of the Falklands Task Force.

He became editor of Channel 4 News in 1983, moving up to become ITN editor-in-chief in 1991 and chief executive in 1995. His work at ITN notably included live coverage of the SAS storming the Iranian Embassy in London and the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

David Rhind, vice-chancellor of City, called Purvis’s appointment “a real coup” for the university, coupled with the appointment in June of former Daily Mirror editor and media commentator Roy Greenslade as professor of journalism.

By Wale Azeez

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