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David Randall (born 1951 in Ipswich)[1] is a British journalist and author of The Universal Journalist, a textbook on journalism.

David Randall
Born1951 (age 67–68)
Ipswich, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
OccupationJournalist, author

Education and career in journalismEdit

Randall was born in Norwich and studied History at Clare College, Cambridge. While at Clare College, Randall was recruited to write for the student newspaper Varsity by editor Jeremy Paxman. After a brief period as a professional comedian and a brand manager at a cosmetics company, he joined the Croydon Advertiser as a trainee reporter in 1974 and became the paper's editor in 1980.[citation needed]

In 1981 he joined The Observer as deputy sports editor. He was promoted to the post of assistant editor.[2] Since 1998 has been at The Independent on Sunday as a news executive.


Randall is the author of The Universal Journalist. In a review of the book in the British Journalism Review, Ann Leslie stated "How I wish this book had been around when I was a young reporter."[3] In the book Journalism, Ethics and Society, David Berry labels Randall a "prominent critic of the debate" concerning journalistic ethics and quotes Randall as arguing in The Universal Journalist that "the objectives and resolutions of ethical debates are unrealistic in the real world of practice [of journalism]."[2]

He is also the author of The Great Reporters, which profiles thirteen reporters he regards as being the best journalists.[4] Among the reporters included were Edna Buchanan,[5] William Howard Russell, Hugh McIlvanney, Ann Leslie, and A. J. Liebling.[6]


  1. ^ The Universal Journalist, David Randall's Biography
  2. ^ a b Dr David Berry (28 December 2012). Journalism, Ethics and Society. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 111–2. ISBN 978-1-4094-9151-4.
  3. ^ Leslie, A. (2007). "Book Review: Bear facts: The Universal Journalist, by David Randall (Pluto Press, pp245, 15.99)". British Journalism Review. 18 (4): 85–86. doi:10.1177/09564748070180041203. ISSN 0956-4748.
  4. ^ David Randall "The Greatest Reporters", The Independent, 12 September 2005
  5. ^ Annie Lawson (19 September 2005). "Inside Edge". The Age. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Miami Herald crime correspondent Edna Buchanan was among the journalists to feature in David Randall 's new book, The Great Reporters
  6. ^ Christopher Hirst; Boyd Tonkin (7 October 2005). "Paperbacks". The Independent. pp. 26–7.