Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Professor Ric Bailey

Visiting Professor in Political Journalism

2.04, Clothworkers' Building North

BA Hons Southampton, Post Grad Dip City


BBC Chief Political Adviser and Deputy Director Editorial Policy and Standards. Formerly: Executive Editor BBC Question Time; Editor, Political News;  BBC Political and Parliamentary Correspondent.

As Chief Political Adviser, Ric Bailey works with programme-makers and managers throughout the Corporation to ensure political impartiality and independence and is a member of the BBC’s senior leadership team.  He also draws up policy, particularly on elections, referendums and opinion polling.  In addition, between 2012-14, he was the Director-General’s Special Editorial Adviser.  He represented the BBC in the negotiations setting up Prime Ministerial election debates, winning, jointly, a Royal Television Society Journalism Award in 2011.  Before that, he had responsibility for BBC One’s Question Time for six years, overseeing more than 200 editions, including from China, USA, South Africa, Russia and the Middle East.  In 2002, he set up Schools Question Time, a nationwide citizenship contest based on the programme’s format.

Ric started out in local radio, winning a Sony Award for coverage of the miners’ strike at Radio Stoke in the 1980s.  He became a regional, then network, political and parliamentary correspondent for BBC TV and Radio, moving on to lead the BBC’s Westminster news teams in the late 1990s.

For ten years, Ric has chaired the industry-wide group of broadcasters overseeing the allocation and transmission of Party Political Broadcasts. He was a Reuters Journalism Fellow at Oxford University, 2010-11, and is now an Honorary Research Associate at University College London, in the Department of Language and Cognition.

Research Interests

Political Impartiality and Independence in the UK – Westminster and the devolved bodies.

TV Election debates

Political language

Dynamics of audiences for political programmes

Politics of referendums.

Voter intention opinion polling

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