Entertainment & Arts

Peter Rippon appointed to BBC News archive role

Peter Rippon
Image caption Mr Rippon stepped aside from Newsnight in October

Peter Rippon, the former editor of Newsnight, has been allocated a new role overseeing the development of the online BBC News archive.

He was in charge when the programme dropped an investigation into disgraced TV presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile.

Mr Rippon will help to build a public record of the corporation's television and radio journalism over 80 years.

BBC Online and Future Media's chief operating officer Andy Conroy described the post as an "exciting opportunity".

"It is a significant challenge that requires an experienced leader and editor, and I'm delighted that Peter will be joining us to develop the BBC's Journal of Record," said Mr Conroy.

BBC Online and the BBC News website launched in 1997, leaving a permanent public daily record of the news output.

However, with more than 80 years of journalism, the aim is to make more of the BBC News archive available to the public.

The process has begun in recent years with a permanent collection of Desert Island Discs and the archive collections for channels, such as BBC Four, made available to the public.

The Journal of Record plans to publish a television and radio news bulletin from every day of the BBC's history, in the form of daily news broadcasts and scripts, together with the live coverage of key events.


Mr Rippon, who took the helm of Newsnight in 2008, takes up the new post in London on 25 February.

After the publication of a blog post in October 2012 explaining his editorial decision to drop the Savile investigation was found to have factual errors, Mr Rippon was asked to "step aside" while an inquiry was held.

His deputy Liz Gibbons was acting editor when Newsnight aired a story that led to former senior Conservative politician Lord McAlpine being falsely accused of sex crimes.

She also subsequently stepped aside and was told that she would be moved to another job, although the BBC has not yet confirmed in what capacity.

Former BBC Radio 5 live boss Adrian Van Klaveren was part of a temporary management team that approved the programme and has been moved after a BBC review.

He is now overseeing the corporation's coverage of the 100th anniversary of World War I and Jonathan Wall succeeds him at the helm of 5 live.

The former Director of BBC News responsible for flagship programmes like Today, Newsnight, Question Time and Panorama, Helen Boaden, takes on the role of Director of Radio starting on 15 April.

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