David Rose (journalist)

David Rose (born 21 July 1959) is a British author and investigative journalist. He is a contributing editor with Vanity Fair and a special investigations writer for The Mail on Sunday. His interests include human rights, miscarriages of justice, the death penalty, racism, the war on terror, politics, energy policy and climate change. He is the author of six non-fiction books and a novel, Taking Morgan, a thriller set in Washington, Oxford, Tel Aviv and Gaza, published by Quartet in 2014. He was named News Reporter of the Year in the Society of Editors British Press Awards for 2015.[1][2] However, his journalism on climate has been criticised by climate scientists and environmentalists for an over-reliance on unsound and unscientific sources and has been censured by Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Rose was also accused of and has admitted to the dissemination of incorrect information , from unreliable sources in the run up to the Iraq war.

Early life and careerEdit

Rose was born in London on 21 July 1959. He read history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and earned a first class honours degree in 1981.

Rose's first job was as a reporter with the London magazine Time Out, 1981–4. He then worked successively on the staffs on The Guardian, The Observer and BBC current affairs television.

At the BBCEdit

While at the BBC he researched, wrote and reported a major series on espionage during the Cold War, The Spying Game, exposing the octogenarian Melita Norwood as a Soviet spy who gave the Russians critical technology enabling them to build their first atomic weapon.[3] Norwood admitted and justified her activity in an interview with Rose, saying she gave up the secrets she acquired through the course of her work at a top-secret British research establishment because she wanted to help the Soviet system.[4] Rose left the BBC to become a freelance writer in 2000.


In 2002 he became a Vanity Fair contributing editor, and in 2008 a special investigations writer for The Mail on Sunday. He is a winner of the Royal Institute of International Affairs David Watt Memorial Prize.[5] In 2013, a poll of investigative reporters organised by the UK Press Gazette named him among the top ten practitioners of his trade.[6]

Miscarriages of justiceEdit

Investigating wrongful convictions has been a frequent theme of David Rose's career. After the trial of the three men convicted of murdering Police Constable Keith Blakelock in the Broadwater Farm riot in 1987, he wrote many articles challenging their convictions and life sentences, working closely with their lawyers. This led to their successful appeals in 1991, and became the subject of his book A Climate of Fear (1992).[7] Rose has repeatedly drawn attention to the dangers of wrongful convictions for historic sex abuse, beginning with the BBC Panorama programme which he reported and wrote, In the Name of the Children (2000).[8]

His longest-running campaign is that on behalf of Georgia death row prisoner Carlton Gary, convicted as the Columbus "stocking strangler", supposedly the African-American who raped and murdered seven white women 1977–78. His book, The Big Eddy Club (2007), focuses on this case and its direct links with the era of lynching and Jim Crow racism. In 2014, after DNA tests appeared to exonerate Gary, who by this time had spent 28 years on death row, Rose testified about some of his investigations at an evidentiary hearing on an extraordinary motion for a new trial.[9] Rose's interest in campaigning against wrongful convictions continues.[10]

The War on TerrorEdit

Within a few weeks of the September 11 attacks, David Rose was investigating claims that Sudanese intelligence had repeatedly offered high-grade information about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to the United States, stemming from the period 1991-6 when bin Laden lived in Khartoum. However, these offers were rebuffed. Rose's January 2002 article on the subject has never been challenged.[11]

Simultaneously, however, he was also reporting spurious claims of connections between the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and the Islamic terrorist group.[12] In addition to investigative pieces linking the Iraqi dictator to the 2001 anthrax attacks, Rose conducted interviews with alleged defectors, presented to him by the Iraqi National Congress, who described how Saddam's elite commandos had trained the hijackers at a top secret Salman Pak facility south of Baghdad.[13] Rose later wrote that he had been duped, and expressed his bitter regret, in an interview with John Pilger for Pilger's documentary The War You Don't See (2010).[14][15]

Rose assisted author Aram Roston with his biography of Ahmad Chalabi with a detailed account of the successful INC propaganda operation which, he admitted, led him astray. Roston wrote, "Of all the journalists who joined the energetic and loyal circle around Ahmad Chalabi after the September 11 attacks, none was drawn in more quickly and more closely than David Rose."[16] Later Rose became a critic of many of the policies pursued by the West in the wake of 9/11, including the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. His 2004 book Guantanamo: America's War on Human Rights was one of the first on the subject.[17] Rose got the first interviews with many of the British detainees released from Guantanamo, including the Tipton Three.[18]

Later he exposed the role of the UK in the torture and rendition of British resident Binyam Mohamed, and successfully challenged Foreign Secretary David Miliband's attempts to keep secret court documents setting out details of his treatment.[19] Anticipating by six years the December 2014 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report concluding that so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" had not thwarted any major terrorist attacks, his 2008 article Tortured Reasoning quoted, among others, then-FBI director Robert Mueller and Scotland Yard counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke saying the same thing: that CIA-sponsored torture had been ineffective.[20] Rose also exposed the covert programme by America that led to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza strip in an investigation for Vanity Fair.[21]

In 2010 Rose admitted to the dissemination of incorrect information , from unreliable sources in his covering of the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003.

Climate change and energy policyEdit

Rose has authored several pieces for The Mail on Sunday. In them he contends that temperatures have risen more slowly than computer models predicted,[22] that global warming has, for the time being, stopped,[23] and that the world may be headed into a mini ice age caused by declining solar output.[24][25]

He has also been critical of subsidies for renewable energy, arguing that they are not effective in reducing global emissions, while adding hugely to consumers' bills.[26][27] Rose has also written critically of the financial interests derived by some advocates of green energy[28] and the burning of wood pellets imported from the US to Britain in place of coal as a supposed 'green' or zero-carbon fuel.[29]

His journalism on climate has been criticised by climate scientists and environmentalists for an over-reliance on unsound and unscientific sources, cherry-picking and manufactured data.[30][31][32][33] Rose has also been criticised repeatedly by the United Kingdom's national weather service, the Met Office.[34][35][36][37] Rose defended his position in an article for The Mail on Sunday in which he stated that he accepted the scientific evidence of global warming, complaining that he had been unfairly vilified as a "climate change denier" and threatened.[38] In May 2015, he wrote an article for The Guardian on climate change, energy policy, coal and solar energy in India.[39]

The Mail on Sunday was criticised by Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in September 2017 for the February publication of an article by Rose which falsely suggested information from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had been used to overstress the extent of global warming. Not all of the other points in the complaint against Rose's article were upheld.[40]

Private lifeEdit

Rose is married with four children and lives in Oxford. His interests include mountaineering, rock-climbing and caving. He has taken part in expeditions with Oxford University Cave Club, which have explored the very deep caves of the Picos de Europa mountains in northern Spain, including the Pozu del Xitu, 1,264 metres deep. These explorations were the subject of his first book, Beneath the Mountains.[41]

Books by RoseEdit

  • 1987 – Beneath The Mountains (with Richard Gregson)
  • 1992 – A Climate of Fear: Blakelock Murder and the Tottenham Three
  • 1996 – In the Name of the Law: The Collapse of Criminal Justice
  • 1999 – Regions of the Heart: The Triumph and Tragedy of Alison Hargreaves (with Ed Douglas)
  • 2004 – Guantanamo: America's War on Human Rights
  • 2007 – The Big Eddy Club: The Stocking Stranglings and Southern Justice (published in UK under the title Violation)
  • 2014 – Taking Morgan


  1. ^ "Citations for Winners, Press Awards for 2015". Press Awards. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  2. ^ @@PressAwardsuk (22 March 2016). "Video: David Rose wins News Reporter of the Year" (Tweet). Retrieved 5 January 2017 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "How they found the spy of the century". BBC News. 10 September 1999. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Grandmother: I was right to spy". BBC News. 20 September 1999. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  5. ^ Timothy Garton; Said, Edward; Fisk, Robert; et al. (1 January 2008). "The David Watt Prize: Winning Articles 1988-2008". Rio Tinto. Retrieved 5 January 2017 – via Amazon.
  6. ^ Turvill, William (5 February 2013). "Press Gazette's top ten investigative journalists: 'Brave and unstoppable' Nick Davies tops the list". Press Gazette. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  7. ^ A Climate of Fear: The Murder of PC Blakelock and the Case of the Tottenham Three. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 1992.
  8. ^ "Panorama - Archive - In The Name Of The Children". BBC News. 26 November 2000. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  9. ^ Rose, David (8 March 2014). "My bid to clear an innocent Death Row prisoner, by MoS reporter". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  10. ^ Rose, David (22 November 2014). "Who REALLY murdered married WPC's lesbian lover?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ Rose, David (4 June 2007). "The Osama Files". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  12. ^ Rose, David (11 November 2001). "The Iraqi connection". The Observer. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  13. ^ Davies, Nick (2008). Flat Earth News. Chatto & Windus. p. 332.
  14. ^ The War You Don't See (2010)
  15. ^ Rose, David (27 September 2007). "Spies and their lies". New Statesman.
  16. ^ Roston, Aram (2009). The Man Who Pushed America to War. Nation Books. p. 29.
  17. ^ Rose, David (7 October 2004). Guantanamo: America's War on Human Rights. Faber & Faber. ASIN 0571226701 – via Amazon.
  18. ^ Rose, David (13 March 2004). "Revealed: the full story of the Guantanamo Britons". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  19. ^ Rose, David (17 October 2009). "How I took on the Foreign Secretary and (almost) won". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  20. ^ Rose, David (16 December 2008). "Tortured Reasoning". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  21. ^ Rose, David (3 March 2008). "The Gaza Bombshell". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  22. ^ Rose, David (16 March 2013). "The Great Green Con no. 1: The hard proof that finally shows global warming forecasts that are costing you billions were WRONG all along". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  23. ^ Rose, David (13 October 2012). "Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  24. ^ Rose, David (9 January 2010). "The mini ice age starts here". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  25. ^ Rose, David (8 September 2013). "And now it's global cooling!". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  26. ^ Rose, David (1 December 2013). "A £50 green energy tax cut is good news. The bad news..?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  27. ^ Rose, David (16 November 2013). "Blackout Britain — why our energy crisis is only just beginning". The Spectator. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  28. ^ Rose, David (14 December 2013). "Fatcat ecocrats who benefit from billions raised on your bills". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  29. ^ Rose, David (16 March 2014). "Woodland is shipped 3,800 miles and burned in Drax power station". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  30. ^ Abraham, John (5 February 2017). "Mail on Sunday launches the first salvo in the latest war against climate scientists". The Guardian. David Rose penned an attack described by expert as “so wrong it’s hard to know where to start”.
  31. ^ Zeke Hausfather. Factcheck: Mail on Sunday's 'astonishing evidence' about global temperature rise, carbonbrief.org, February 2, 2017.
  32. ^ "Analysis of "Stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures…" Published in Daily Mail, by David Rose - 26 Nov. 2016". Climate Feedback. November 2016.
  33. ^ Monbiot, George (8 December 2010). "David Rose's climate science writing shows he has not learned from previous mistakes". The Guardian. You can divide people into two categories: those who learn from their mistakes and those who don't. ... [Rose] has distinguished himself by the same uncritical reliance on dodgy sources that caused his catastrophic mistakes about Iraq.
  34. ^ "Met Office in the Media". Met Office. 29 January 2012.
  35. ^ "Met Office in the Media". Met Office. 14 October 2012.
  36. ^ "Met Office in the Mail on Sunday". Met Office. 15 September 2013.
  37. ^ "Met Office in the Media: Response by Professor Mat Collins and the Met Office". Met Office. 16 February 2014.
  38. ^ Rose, David (31 January 2015). "What happens if you dare to doubt the Green prophets of doom". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  39. ^ Rose, David (27 May 2015). "Why India is captured by carbon". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  40. ^ Harvey, Fiona (17 September 2017). "Press regulator censures Mail on Sunday for global warming claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  41. ^ "Beneath the Mountains - Contents". Oxford University Cave Club. Retrieved 5 January 2017.

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