John Reith

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John Reith, 1st Baron Reith


Great Britain

Birth - Death

1889 - 1971


Business, Journalist

Notable Achievements



Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC, 1927) when it was created by Royal Charter, and who is credited with establishing its tradition for independent public service broadcasting. Was the original Managing Director (1922) when it was owned by members of the wireless industry before the BBC as a publicly-owned entity was officially created. Credited with creating the BBC as a globally respected broadcasting organization, employing a set of 'Reithian' principles for journalism that include a commitment to present all viewpoints and a devotion to public service. Lord Rector of Glasgow University (1965-1968), and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board, chairman of the Colonial Development Corporation, and chairman of the National Film Finance Corporation. Appointed Baron Reith (1990), Knight Bachelor (1927), Companion of the Order of Bath (1945), and Knight of the Order of the Thistle (1969), amongst many other honours. Intimately involved with a man named Charlie Bowser: The depth and intimacy of the relationship was revealed in Reith's diaries when they were analyzed by Ian McIntyre.

See Also

Further Reading/Research