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Host Host | 10:36 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2007

On this week's Newswatch, the programme which discusses viewers' complaints about BBC TV News, Adrian Van-Klareven, deputy director of News, talks about the need to reassure audiences following a series of editorial misrepresentations.

You can watch the programme by clicking here


  • 1.
  • At 11:59 AM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • JG wrote:

But surely the need is not to "reassure audiences", it is to STOP LYING to the audience.

  • 2.
  • At 12:36 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Andy McMenemy wrote:

Does this include the promulgation of climate hysteria due to the representation of only one side of the scientific debate.

  • 3.
  • At 01:57 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Apologies, reassurances, excuses, rationalizations, a pile of manure intended to obfuscate the fact that BBC is not and has not for a very long time lived up to its once lofty standards its reputation was built on. Somewhere along the way, the bad drove out the good and honest journalism presented in a sober, thoughtful, complete package was replaced by advocacy, sensationalism, and "info-tainment." BBC is not even a shadow of its former self but more like a mocking caricature of it. And for every time BBC catches the public eye with another of its obvious gaffs, we wonder how many more are undiscovered lurking in a closet or swept under a rug which they have succeeded in keeping secret. This is an organization which is too big, too rich, too powerful, too secure, and much to taken with its own self importance to be of any use to its audience. It needs a thorough top to bottom housecleaning.

  • 4.
  • At 03:14 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Jackie McGhee wrote:

Yes, because Mr. Van-Klaveren is so worth listening to. After all, he's the clown who decided that the BBC should renege on an agreement with Tom Stephens, broadcast his interview (which was only done for 'background purposes') and identify him as the arrested suspect in the Suffolk murder investigations in December, 2006.

The act of a trustworthy man to be sure.

  • 5.
  • At 04:41 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • Seurat wrote:

Are there really no comments worth publishing on The Editors about the recent competition fixing disclosures?

I've sent in two messages, but the only subject that appears to have any messages passed by the BBC censors are the ones with praise (mostly and unnacountably) for storyFIX.

  • 6.
  • At 04:50 PM on 23 Jul 2007,
  • carolyn campbell wrote:

the man you are interviewing just doesn't get it, does he. THE FACTS WERE TWISTED. That's not a narrow point it's bent jouralism.

The recent exposure of deceptive practice at the BBC is, I fear, exposing only a symptom of a deeper malaise. That malaise is the BBC’s fundamental and endemic loss of its understanding of its duty as a publicly funded broadcaster. Funded by what amounts to a poll-tax and so fiercely independent that it fears no real governmental intervention, it has become a law unto itself.

Recently there has been a criticism levelled saying the BBC has a ‘liberal bias’. This criticism has some justification, especially in the field of News Broadcasts. There is much use of editorially loaded adjectives, adverbs, verbal emphasis and story ‘angles’ that arise from what may be conveniently described as the Esther Rantzen Syndrome.

A simple example is the use of such phrases as ‘three short months’ or ‘three long months’ in a news story. Three months is simply that; three months. The addition of the adjective is purely editorial opinion being represented as straight reportage. A publicly funded broadcaster has no business inserting subliminal editorial opinion into news reporting. This is a simple example of the many ways that the BBC’s deluded belief that it is its job to be a serious arbiter of opinion in news presentation. Any objective observer watching the BBC news over the period of a week will find many many examples of this subliminal editorial content.

Habitually statistics are presented without the all-important time frame that makes them accurate and meaningful. This time frame is omitted to lend power to an editorial slant. Why else would it be omitted, unless it is unmitigated sloppy journalism that has little or no regard for factual accuracy? Either way, it’s simply not good enough for a public broadcaster. One wonders if the news-writers even realise what they are doing. I think perhaps not. The BBC definitely has an editorial agenda. The sad fact is that I doubt whether anyone at the BBC could tell you what that agenda is. That is how automatic and thoughtless it has become.

I want the facts from my news. Just the facts. I expect to be given enough respect to be allowed to form my own opinions based on accurately reported facts. The fact that the BBC is unable to trust its viewers to form their own opinions is the clearest illustration of how far it has drifted from its charter obligations

We have a society that has a fear of crime and a concern for public safety that bears no relationship to published statistics. This has been fostered by the “is it safe” and “make sure it can never happen again” editorial stance habitually taken by the BBC. It is a form of nannyish popularism that belongs in the printed press but has no place in what should be the totally objective world of the publicly funded broadcaster.

Throughout the BBC there has crept in disrespect for the paying public that amounts to an arrogance that is not to be tolerated. It permeates almost everything the BBC now does. This recent exposure of the more obvious disrespect presents an opportunity for a serious reform of editorial standards going much deeper than telephone scams.

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