Thursday, June 05, 2008

BBC Statements of Programme Policy 2008/2009

The BBC has finally released its latest Statements of Programme Policy. Gone is last year's promise that the BBC must be inclusive.

The Statements begin with a message from the BBC's Director-General, Mark Thompson. In it he says that last year was a challenging one for the BBC with editorial issues around competition voting and controversy around programmes featuring the Queen and children’s content. He goes on to say that the BBC responded strongly with new guidance and approval procedures and an extensive training programme, Safeguarding Trust, for all staff involved in editorial decisions. He leaves out the fact that certain BBC staff have continued to deceive the public, that he is aware of instances of deception and that he's turning a blind eye. Also he has ignored Will Wyatt's recommendation regarding deception:

When anyone in the BBC becomes aware that the corporation has put something misleading or untrue into the public domain a correction must be issued at the earliest opportunity. It must be understood that the BBC’s honesty with the public has to be the first concern.

The 'Accountability' section is still in the SoPP. Like last year it begins:

The BBC, as an open and transparent organisation which is trusted by the public it serves, seeks to engage its audiences in dialogue, to learn from them and to respond honestly to what they have to say.

But the way the BBC is going, I doubt that statement will remain in place much longer.

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