Thursday, January 13, 2011

Does the BBC treat some groups worse than others? I think that question was answered decisively when Miriam O'Reilly won her case of age discrimination, and BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob graciously went on to acknowledge that the BBC hadn't got it right. Mr Yentob was also, I believe, amongst those few in BBC senior management to recognise that the weekly deliberate homophobic jibes on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross were indefensible, and had to cease.

For reasons which are not entirely clear, the BBC appears reluctant to reveal figures about LGBT-related complaints. Attempts by Pink News to determine the number of complaints about the Stephen Green interview on BBC News in December were met with a refusal on the grounds that the BBC does not release figures when there is “evidence of a lobby.” Yet evidence of lobbying was clear in the case of Sachsgate and, more recently, the cot death baby swap story on EastEnders, where the BBC did publish complaint figures.

In 2009, my own request for the number of complaints relating to the 'Should homosexuals face execution?' debate was turned down "for several very good reasons, chief amongst them being our desire to maintain our independence and impartiality."

The BBC Trust published its Strategy Review in December 2010, and one of the four Key Objectives is a commitment for the BBC to "set new standards of openness and transparency." The Trust also says that the BBC should "do more to serve all audiences." Newsround Blog welcomes the BBC Trust Strategy Review and will endeavour to hold the Corporation to account, based on the Key Objectives.

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