Wednesday, November 01, 2006

BBC - Still Not Biased!

The BBC's John Simpson defends the Corporation:
Simpson said: "The BBC's permanent staff don't take kindly to seeing our principles dismissed by people who are often just passing through. Especially not if it's done in the pages of some newspapers which wouldn't know objectivity if they trod in it."
And which nobody is forced to pay for, unlike the BBC. I wonder what papers are considered objective by the licence-tax-funded world affairs editor. The Guardian? The Independent?
In the comment piece in today's Ariel, the veteran newsman went on to attack newspapers who, "will print anything to do us down".

"You have to remember two things. The first is that much of the British press dislikes the BBC for ideological or commercial reasons, and will print anything to do us down. It's a fact of life; no reason to get upset about it, but we shouldn't take overmuch notice of what the papers say about us."

Simpson continued: "It was only by reading the newspapers that most of us in news recently discovered our core values had been called into question by our own colleagues. The governors held a seminar at which various people who used to work for news (and one or two who still do) sounded off about the supposed leftwing, anti-American bias of BBC news.

"Well, having worked for BBC news for 40 years, I'm immensely proud of its rock-solid culture of honest, balanced truth-telling.

"Please let's not have any more seminars were we shoot ourselves in the foot. The permanent staff don't like that kind of thing."
Aww, diddums.
Simpson defined "permanent staff" as those working on the frontline for the corporation, such as cameramen.

He recalled that "many years ago, a particularly bolshie cameraman appeared before a senior BBC figure for some minor act of insubordination [saying] 'The difference between you and me is that you're just temporary staff, on your way to something better, and people like me are the permanent staff'."
So the bolshie permanent staff are the true BBC then! What were you saying about shooting yourselves in the foot, John?
Ariel also defends the BBC in a strongly worded editorial on the front page, pointing out that the seminar was not a secret, but had been streamed on the internet.

It says: "There has been a gleeful element to the reports because the papers portrayed the seminar as a secret event that they had managed to penetrate.

"This is phoney as a number of newspaper columnists did attend and there was a live webstream."
The director of BBC News Helen Boaden made this point too. Was the webstream advertised? Could it be accessed by anyone? The BBC loves to plug its own events but I don't recall the trailers for the Great Online Impartiality Seminar. In fact, I can't find any evidence that the BBC pre-announced this totally-not-secret webstream, and it doesn't appear to be available to view again online.

Perhaps some requests via the BBC's Freedom of Information website will spur the the Beeb into letting us see the original footage.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Brentano said...

Whoah Nelly. You're not forced to pay for the BBC if you don't own a TV, are you? I do admit we all pay for the BBC culturally...

2:06 pm  
Blogger AntiCitizenOne said...

30,000 people a month are threatened with jail in court by the TVLA.

Lets make that 60,000.

Starve your enemy. Don't pay the BBC.

2:45 pm  
Blogger furriskey said...

John Simpson is a conceited, smug, fat, fatuous bell-end.

3:35 pm  

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