Press Office

Wednesday 30 Jul 2014

Biographies

Chris Westcott

Director, BBC Monitoring


Chris Westcott has been Director of BBC Monitoring since April 2003.

He is a member of the BBC Global News division Board.

BBC Monitoring supplies news, information and comment gathered from the mass media around the world. It operates around the clock to monitor more than 3,000 radio, TV, press, internet and news agency sources, translating from up to 100 languages in 150 countries.

This extensive and growing range of sources enables BBC Monitoring to provide distinctive, authoritative and reliable coverage of political and economic news to customers including the BBC, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and many commercial businesses.

Previously, as Head of New Media, World Service, Chris was responsible for the BBC World Service's new media portfolio spanning online and mobile services. The internet provides global access to World Service content offering greater choice, convenience and interactivity. As a result, development of new media services has a high priority.

Chris led the development of new media at World Service from its start. BBC World Service now has all of its languages online, with streaming media available in all cases.

In 2001 Chris led the team which won the internationally acclaimed Webby Award for the best Radio station website. The Webby – often called the "Oscar of the Internet" – was won against competition from a strong international field.

Chris joined BBC World Service on a media fellowship in 1988 before joining the World Service permanently the following year.

He was a member of the World Service's Science Unit between 1989 and 1995, reaching the role of Executive Producer.

In 1995 he founded the department which has developed into BBC World Service New Media, rising from Commissioning Editor to its Head.

He joined the Management Board of BBC World Service in 2000.

Chris worked for BBC Radio 4's current affairs department in 1992 producing the programmes Analysis and Special Assignment, and was part of the launch team for BBC Worldwide's commercial venture beeb.com in 1996.

Prior to joining the BBC he achieved a PhD in Chemistry from Southampton University and an MA in Metallurgy and Science of Materials from Oxford University.

He was a research scientist at the UK Atomic Energy Authority's Harwell laboratory between 1980 and 1989, specialising in materials research and the development of computer-based information systems.

It was while pursuing his career as a research scientist that Chris was awarded a British Association for the Advancement of Science Media Fellowship, which brought him to the BBC.

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