ITV News appoints The Guardian’s Alok Jha as Science Correspondent
ITV News announces that Alok Jha has been appointed as Science Correspondent. Alok, who is currently Science Correspondent at The Guardian, will be joining the newsroom’s health and science unit, alongside newly appointed Health Editor Catherine Jones. From September, Alok will lead all specialist science coverage, providing detailed analysis of complex science stories to ITV News viewers at home.
On top of filing content for itv.com/news, Alok will also contribute science reporting towards ITV’s Tonight programme and the new monthly current affairs series, On Assignment. He will be taking over the science brief from Lawrence McGinty, who retires as Science & Medical Editor this summer, after an award-winning career at ITV News.
Alok Jha said: "I'm extremely excited to be joining ITV News, one of the best journalistic institutions in the world. I'm looking forward to the challenge of bringing science and scientific thinking into people's homes, at a time when we need it more than ever. Everything from creating policy on climate change or working out the best way to treat a disease requires a proper understanding of science. I want to arm viewers with the latest thinking to help them navigate the complexity of modern life.
“As well as sharing scientific discoveries, though, I also think it is important to challenge and question scientists, to show how this great collective human endeavour works, why it has been so successful and expose problems when it goes wrong. I leave The Guardian, of course, with a heavy heart. I'll miss my wonderful colleagues there, who have supported, inspired and entertained me for the past decade. Hopefully our paths will cross again soon."
At The Guardian, Alok spent the last decade reporting around the world on a range of major stories, from his exclusive on the world’s first lab-grown hamburger to stem cell biology and Higgs Boson. As well as writing for the paper, Alok set up and edited The Guardian’s science website, presenting the Science Weekly podcast and producing regular films, including Antarctica Live. When his ship got unexpectedly caught in sea ice over Christmas, Alok reported live, over two months, for a number of international broadcasters, including CNN, NBC and ABC.
Alok has presented and reported for a number of BBC TV and radio programmes, including Dara O’Briain’s Science Club on BBC2, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and BBC Radio 5 Live. He has also written two books; The Doomsday Handbook – 50 Ways to the End of the World and How to Live Forever and 34 Really Interesting Uses of Science. His third book, on the cultural and scientific biography of water, will be published next year.
Under his watch, Science Weekly won the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Award in 2012. Alok was also awarded science writer of the year at the European Science Writers Award in 2008.
Michael Jermey, ITV's Director of News and Current Affairs said “Alok brings a wealth of experience, enterprising spirit and originality to the role of ITV News Science Correspondent and will be a great successor to Lawrence McGinty. Lawrence has been the leading television news science journalist of the past twenty years. We're delighted that in Alok we have a journalist who will continue to develop high quality science coverage on ITV."
Geoff Hill, Editor of ITV News said: "Alok has an incredible ability to produce original and accessible journalism. He has a wealth of experience on a range of complex science issues, working across print, TV and online. I can't wait for him to bring his expertise to ITV News, completing our newly formed health and science unit.”