A letter from John Ryley, Head of Sky News

Thursday 16 December 2021

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Thank you for letting Sky News keep you informed on the big issues we have faced in 2021.

At a time when we are bombarded with information and opinion, it has never been more important for us to invest in and champion trustworthy journalism - without bias or spin.

And I recognise that it is sometimes hard to know what news you can trust.

At Sky News we are committed to bring you impartial, fact-led reporting which helps you understand what is happening in our world and how it affects you and your community.

But we don’t just report the news – we analyse it, too.

In January, the UK had more Covid cases per capita than any country in the world, but with the hope and promise of the vaccine. Our journalists kept you informed on the science and safety, breaking down the story and analysing the data behind the largest vaccination programme in British history.

Then as society emerged, the impact of the virus on our economy came into greater focus. Our team at Westminster and data-crunching journalists in the newsroom scrutinised every decision asking the tough questions of political leaders who are decide the policy that defines our future.

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A planet in crisis

And that future is in danger of catastrophe without swift and comprehensive global action.

There is no denying that the climate crisis is real and we want our audiences to know the facts and feel empowered to understand this complex topic. It’s why we launched The Daily Climate Show, a first of its kind prime time daily news programme focused on the climate crisis.

Sky News has been at the forefront of reporting on the climate crisis by leading with innovative ways of informing the public for many years. With the UK hosting COP26, we made certain to bring our audiences the full story through speaking to politicians, business leaders and activists on our live dedicated pop-channel from Glasgow.

Our coverage of the climate crisis this year has demonstrated yet again that public service journalism is too important to be left solely to publicly funded broadcasters.

Issues at home

Sky News is committed to telling the stories that define our era and that have touched us all.

The tragic murders of Sabina Nessa, Sarah Everard and many other women at the hands of men; the continued racial discrimination so many are subjected to every day; the migrant crisis; and the expanding divides of education, wealth and health are just some of the societal challenges our newsroom has covered extensively this year.

Our digital team have used technology and data to explain, analyse and share these stories in compelling ways, reaching new audiences on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

In the field

We must also remember the strength of original, independent, and trustworthy journalism is that it is built on assessing the facts - finding out the truth.

And there aren’t many greater truths than an eyewitness on the ground. Our BAFTA, RTS and BJA award-winning correspondents have been at the front line of the important global issues in 2021, from the riots at the Capitol in Washington to the devastating floods in Germany; we believe that to have your ear to the ground you need to be on it.

In August Stuart Ramsey was broadcasting live from the roof of his hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan when he spotted a procession of Taliban marching past the presidential palace. This moment was history literally unfolding live on television as a 20-year campaign came to end.

In a similar way Prince Phillip’s funeral and President Biden’s inauguration are moments in history we won’t forget and show why audiences are still instinctively turning to live broadcast news alongside our digital platforms.

As we come to the end of another year, we recommit to bring you impartial, quality news, where and how you want it in 2022.
It’s our responsibility to bring you clarity in an uncertain world.

John Ryley, Head of Sky News

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