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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January 2005, 15:03 GMT
US bombing of Libya

Charles Wheeler
Richard Tait singled out Charles Wheeler's analysis of the then US President Ronald Reagan
Richard Tait: Editor 1985-87

Nomination: Richard nominated Charles Wheeler's report from Washington after the US bombing of Libya.

Charles got the first flight to the US after the news of the attack broke.

The programme was broadcast on 15 April 1986.

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Richard says: "'I always believed Newsnight was at its very best reacting on the day, in depth, to a major news event.

"News of the US attack on Libya had broken overnight - Charles Wheeler was on the first plane to Washington that morning and produced an on the day report for us that evening from the US capital Washington.

Injured Libyan child
A Libyan child in hospital after the US bombing raid
"He delivered the report with the authoritative analysis which shows why I am not the only Newsnight editor to believe Charles is the greatest reporter of the television age."


Richard Tait is Professor of Journalism and Director, Centre for Journalism Studies, Cardiff University. He was Editor-in-Chief of Independent Television News (ITN) from 1995 to 2002. Before that he was Editor of ITN's Channel Four News from 1987 to1995.

He began his journalistic career in business magazines before joining the BBC in 1979 where he worked as a researcher and producer on the Money Programme and Nationwide.

Richard Tait
Richard Tait is now a BBC Governor
He then became editor of People & Power, The Money Programme, Newsnight, Budget and By-Election Specials and the 1987 General Election Results programme.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Editors and the Royal Television Society, Vice-Chairman of the International Press Institute, and Advisory Board Member of the International News Safety Institute.

He became a governor of the BBC in August 2004.

Newsnight is broadcast every weekday at 10:30pm on BBC Two in the UK.

Charles Wheeler's report on the Libya bombing


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