North America editor
A year from today we’ll know who’ll be the 44th President of the United States - or at least we hope we will (hanging chads and too-close-to-call results permitting). Put the date in your diary - Tuesday November 4th 2008 is polling day. But of course, the race to the White House is already underway. The first electoral test comes just a few days into the New Year, on January 3rd, when the state of Iowa holds its caucus – a complicated and arcane affair, where party members gather in small groups and vote by a lengthy process of elimination.
Election 2008 will be the biggest story of next year (unless you’re a sports fan, in which case the Beijing Olympics might run it close). Certainly the 2008 presidential election is a key moment in the history of the United States – a moment of potentially huge change. So we’re having our reshuffle in Washington ahead of the election. We’ve appointed Justin Webb as our first North America Editor.
Justin’s job mirrors those of Mark Mardell in Europe and Jeremy Bowen in the Middle East. He will lead our coverage of the 2008 election and its aftermath, shaping the style and tone of our editorial agenda in America, reporting for radio, television and the website (on his brand new blog).
He’ll also have a key role reporting America back to itself. Six weeks ago we launched BBC World News America – an hour long programme broadcast on both BBC World and BBC America, reporting the World to America and America to the World.
What happens in Washington really does matter. It can change lives for better or for worse right across the globe. Justin’s appointment as North America Editor – his understanding of what makes America tick, and its place in the world – will be invaluable as we countdown to November 4th 2008.