ARGUS COMMENT: BBC faces big battle

South Wales Argus: ARGUS COMMENT: BBC faces big battle ARGUS COMMENT: BBC faces big battle

NEWS, so it is said, is something someone somewhere doesn’t want you to know.

A leading politician, for instance, would not want you to know he was a paedophile.

And he most certainly would not want you to know it if the allegation was utterly untrue.

The BBC’s handling of such an allegation against former Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine has been disastrous from start to finish.

The Newsnight programme that alleged, without naming him, he was part of a paedophile ring at a North Wales children’s home was unverified journalism at its worst.

It appears the Newsnight team - led by reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism agency – simply believed everything abuse victim Steven Messham said.

There were no checks and balances on the story. They did not put his allegations to McAlpine. They did not even show Messham a photograph of McAlpine.

The BBC would have led the criticism of such lazy, gungho journalism if it had been practised by one of the redtop national newspapers.

The BBC is in crisis as a result. The Director-General, who appears to have known nothing about anything going on in his organisation, has gone. Other senior editorial figures will go.

Newsnight will not survive and the BBC faces a huge battle to restore public trust in its journalism.

It is a battle we hope it wins but it is an uphill task.

Comments (5)

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1:20pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

"It appears the Newsnight team - led by reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism agency – simply believed everything abuse victim Steven Messham said."

It must be bitterly ironic for them though as it seems to have been at least in part a reaction to the storm of criticism that newsnight received for pulling the Jimmy Savile item. Consequently, they didn't want to get caught again and went charging full force like a bull in a china shop into this one. They must feel like they're damned if they do and damned if they don't as it looks to everyone that tey can't seem to get anything right(!)
"It appears the Newsnight team - led by reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism agency – simply believed everything abuse victim Steven Messham said." It must be bitterly ironic for them though as it seems to have been at least in part a reaction to the storm of criticism that newsnight received for pulling the Jimmy Savile item. Consequently, they didn't want to get caught again and went charging full force like a bull in a china shop into this one. They must feel like they're damned if they do and damned if they don't as it looks to everyone that tey can't seem to get anything right(!) Katie Re-Registered

1:55pm Mon 12 Nov 12

county mad says...

The BBC have with this scandal finally managed to blacken the reputation of Lady Thatcher as the rabid uninformed will insist " catcher wos a peedo it was on the beeb" . The inbuilt left wing including the rabid controller of radio 5 must be delighted
The BBC have with this scandal finally managed to blacken the reputation of Lady Thatcher as the rabid uninformed will insist " catcher wos a peedo it was on the beeb" . The inbuilt left wing including the rabid controller of radio 5 must be delighted county mad

1:57pm Mon 12 Nov 12

county mad says...

Sorry typo catcher should've been fatcher
Sorry typo catcher should've been fatcher county mad

11:24am Wed 14 Nov 12

county mad says...

Latest news Adrian van klavern contrler of radio 5 has been id'd as one of 2 execs to ok the newsnight paedo story see above comment
Latest news Adrian van klavern contrler of radio 5 has been id'd as one of 2 execs to ok the newsnight paedo story see above comment county mad

11:24am Wed 14 Nov 12

county mad says...

Latest news Adrian van klavern contrler of radio 5 has been id'd as one of 2 execs to ok the newsnight paedo story see above comment
Latest news Adrian van klavern contrler of radio 5 has been id'd as one of 2 execs to ok the newsnight paedo story see above comment county mad

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