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Mark Thompson

Mark was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford. During his time as Director-General Mark re-shaped the BBC to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring it remains a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the domestic and global BBC iPlayer, while at the same time making the Corporation more efficient and offering greater value for money.
Mark first joined the BBC in 1979 as a production trainee. He helped launch Watchdog and Breakfast Time, was an output editor on Newsnight, and was appointed Editor of the Nine O'Clock News in 1988 and of Panorama in 1990.
As Controller of BBC Two from 1996 to 1998, he saw the channel win acclaim for strong programming such as Our Mutual Friend, The Royle Family and Storyville. He was the BBC's Director of National and Regional Broadcasting from 1999 to 2000. In 2000, he became the Director of Television.
Mark was Chief Executive of Channel 4 from 2002 to 2004.

Series featuring Mark Thompson

  • Christ Church
  • Humanitas - Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
  • ICT for Development (ICT4D)
  • Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
  • Oxford Internet Institute
  • Free Speech Debate
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons Mark Thompson on the BBC and religion The director general of the BBC explains why it aired Jerry Springer: The Opera, and talks about different responses to Christianity and Islam. Mark Thompson 16 Jun 2016
2 Development 2.0 and beyond: Challenges for ICT4D in 2013 Dr Thompson addresses some of the opportunities and contradictions presented by ICT4D and considers some emerging ways in which ICT4D researchers may contribute to the field. Mark Thompson 16 Jan 2014
3 Creative Commons Plenary panel debate: The Future of Journalism Panel debate at the 30th Anniversary Reunion of the Journalism Fellow Programme. Mark Thompson, Natalie Nougayrède, Peter Barron, John Stackhouse 17 Sep 2013
4 Creative Commons Paying the Piper: Rethinking the Economics of Newspaper Journalism Reuters Memorial Lecture 2013 - by Mark Thompson, President and Chief Executive of the New York Times Company. Mark Thompson, David Levy, John Lloyd 17 Sep 2013
5 Creative Commons Development 2.0 and beyond: Challenges for ICT4D in 2013 Dr Thompson addresses some of the opportunities and contradictions presented by ICT4D and considers some emerging ways in which ICT4D researchers may contribute to the field. Mark Thompson 30 Apr 2013
6 Creative Commons Mark Thompson (Symposium): Politics and Language - Friends or Enemies? Symposium following Mark Thompson's series of talks for the Humanitas Programme. With Polly Toynbee, Gus O'Donnell, David Willetts MP and chaired by Andrew Marr. Mark Thompson, Polly Toynbee, Gus O'Donnell, David Willetts 15 Nov 2012
7 Creative Commons Mark Thompson: Not in my name In his third lecture, Mark Thompson looks at what happens when modern rhetoric and morality collide, taking the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as his principal examples. Mark Thompson 15 Nov 2012
8 Creative Commons Mark Thompson: Consign it to the flames Almost everyone accepts that science is our most authoritative guide to understanding the world so why is it so disputed when it comes to public policy? Mark Thompson examines what's happened to the 'argument from authority' in modern rhetoric. Mark Thompson 15 Nov 2012
9 Creative Commons Mark Thompson: Inaugural Lecture - Is Plato winning the argument? Drawing in particular on recent examples from American and British healthcare reform, Mark Thompson asks whether the language of politics is changing in ways which threaten public understanding of and engagement with the most important issues of the day. Mark Thompson 15 Nov 2012
10 Creative Commons Why Quality Journalism Still Matters in a Digital Age, or, who can you believe these days? Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, gives the first lecture in the Christ Church Gorbachev Lectures on Press Freedom. Mark Thompson 26 Oct 2011