Sunday, October 28, 2012

John Simpson is one of the BBC's most respected journalists. He appeared on Panorama's investigation (iPlayer) into what the BBC knew about Jimmy Savile and why the Newsnight investigation had been dropped -

John Simpson: This is the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC. I don't think the BBC has handled it terribly well. All we have, as an organisation, is the trust of people - the people that watch us and listen to us. And if we don't have that - we start to lose that - that's very dangerous for the BBC.

John Simpson's comments were the basis of a detailed news report in children's newspaper, First News. But, although all this has been such a big story in Britain, the BBC's own flagship news and current affairs programme for children has yet to say a word about either Jimmy Savile's abuse or about the BBC crisis.

The BBC's editorial guidelines cover all situations that could arise as a broadcaster, including controversial news. The guideline in Section 4.4.15 deals with impartiality when the BBC, itself, is the story -
When dealing with controversial subjects concerning the BBC, our reporting must remain duly impartial, as well as accurate and fair. We need to ensure the BBC's impartiality is not brought into question (my emphasis) ...

The fact that Newsround publicised last year's Savile tribute but has, so far, completely failed to report the current controversy, does exactly that - it further brings the impartiality and integrity of the BBC children's department into question.

No comments: