Gizbert grew up in the Ottawa area and is a graduate of Algonquin College in Ontario. His brother, Christopher, is an MIT-trained geologist currently living and working in Calgary, Alberta. Another brother, Daviken, is an associate professor of history, specializing in Latin America, at McGill University in Montreal.
Prior to joining ABC News, Gizbert worked as a correspondent-producer for CJOH-TV in Ottawa, where he produced in-depth features for Sunday Edition, the national current affairs programme. Prior to that, Gizbert was CJOH's parliamentary correspondent for five years, responsible for national political coverage. For his reporting of a hostage situation on Parliament Hill, Gizbert received the National Award for Breaking News Coverage.
After being fired by ABC News in 2004, Gizbert fought and won a wrongful dismissal case against the network, in which an employment tribunal awarded him $100,000 in compensation. In his legal claim, Gizbert argued that his refusal to accept assignments in Iraq led to his firing. The tribunal agreed, ruling Gizbert's stand on assignments in Iraq was a "primary" reason for his dismissal.
Prior to the case, Gizbert had done extensive work in war zones for ABC. Starting in 1993, he covered the former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Rwanda and Somalia. In 1999, he says, he told ABC that, as a parent of young children he felt he could no longer accept assignments in war zones. Gizbert told the tribunal that he offered to accept a domestic assignment in the US, if ABC wished him to do so. He said the network decided to keep him in London.
Five years later he was fired by ABC and replaced by a correspondent willing to report from war zones.
According to the UK's Guardian newspaper, Gizbert's legal victory "could have far-reaching effects for war-zone journalism". Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists in Britain, said the victory was "hugely important" for journalists and their families.
Martin Bell, former BBC correspondent and former member of UK parliament, testified on Gizbert's behalf at the tribunal. After the verdict he said "Richard has been very brave, beyond war-zone valour, taking on ABC News. He's taken a stand for young journalists."
Al Jazeera English
Gizbert joined Al Jazeera English after spending 11 years as a London correspondent for ABC News (U.S.), and has been the host of the media-analysis show Listening Post since the station's launch in 2006.
Aaron Barnhart, TV writer for the Kansas City Star, wrote that Listening Post "might be the best media-critique program in English anywhere." Stewart Purvis, former editor-in-chief and CEO of Britain's ITN, said "The Listening Post has delivered," and that its real value "is the breadth of its monitoring beyond the mainstream".