Gareth Price, a former director of the Thomson Foundation and a staunch advocate of public service broadcasting, has died aged 78.
He led the foundation for 15 years from 1990 – and was “hands on” helping the rapid expansion of international broadcasting from post-Soviet Eastern Europe to Asia and the Pacific.
He leaves a legacy of hundreds of journalists and broadcasters who benefited from his training and mentoring.
There are no problems, only solutions.
One of his protégés said it wasn’t only his great professionalism that left its mark on those he trained.
“Gareth had the rare talent to connect with people regardless of their race or standing. He was a true humanitarian able to touch and engage with people with his infectious enthusiasm and sense of humour. His life motto was: ‘There are no problems, only solutions.’ ”
The foundation’s current deputy chairman, Mark Knight, paid tribute to Gareth’s “inexhaustible” network of industry contacts, many gleaned from his previous career at the BBC.
“Not only did he excel in finding the best person for an assignment in any country, he spent much of his time in the field fulfilling assignments himself, wherever they took him; and all the while managing and running the Foundation.
“His conviviality, and extensive knowledge and experience, were turned to good account for the foundation. He played a pivotal role in the life of the foundation during which it developed and grew. He will be missed by all who knew him.”
Gareth joined the foundation after a career spanning 26 years at the BBC which defined his thinking on broadcasting. He spent 10 years as a producer before rising to be director of programmes and controller at BBC Wales.
At the Commonwealth Broadcasting Conference in New Delhi in 2006 he received the Elizabeth R Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in promoting public broadcasting.
Gareth was quick to draw the distinction between a state broadcaster acting in the interests of the government of the day, and a public service broadcaster which serves the interest of the audience.
“Public service broadcasting is therefore an essential agent in the development of democracy. The audience requires to be informed of the opinions of all parties and not only those in power,” he wrote in a handbook for broadcast managers.
Picture credit: Y Lolfa
About: Nigel has overall responsibility for the delivery of the foundation’s programmes and budgets, as well as advising its board of trustees on strategy. His background is in the news industry, both as a journalist and as a manager of international news agencies.