UK

BBC inquiries: Who goes and who stays?

  • 19 December 2012
  • From the section UK

Two separate reports into why the BBC dropped a Newsnight report on sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile, and a subsequent story by the programme which led to a former senior Conservative party figure being wrongly implicated in sexual abuse, have criticised BBC management.

This graphic outlines the BBC's management structure for both Newsnight programmes, and what changes will be made in the outcome of both reviews.

bbc organisation chart

Pollard Review

Former head of Sky News Nick Pollard was brought in to review the way a Newsnight report dealing with allegations of child abuse against Jimmy Savile was treated by the BBC in December 2011.

His review was set up in October 2012 amid mounting questions about why the report was dropped from the programme.

Newsnight's editor Peter Rippon stepped aside, and director of news Helen Boaden and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, removed themselves from involvement in coverage of Savile allegations, to allow the review to proceed.

In his report, Nick Pollard criticised BBC management, but found no evidence of a cover-up.

Steve Mitchell resigned and Peter Rippon will be replaced, and possibly move to a new role.

MacQuarrie review

The director of BBC Scotland Ken MacQuarrie was assigned to investigate the circumstances of a Newsnight report on 2 November this year which led to a former senior Conservative politician being wrongly implicated in child abuse.

The fallout from the programme prompted the departure of director general George Entwistle after only 54 days in the role.

He resigned citing "the unacceptable journalistic standards" of the report, while Helen Boaden and Stephen Mitchell stood aside from their roles completely.

The MacQuarrie Review found that "basic journalistic checks on the story were not carried out" and the Newsnight team "did not make adequate attempts to seek validation for the story beyond what the reporter delivered".

Newsnight's editorial team will be replaced, with deputy editor Liz Gibbons moving to a new role.

The controller of the BBC's 5 live Adrian Van Klaveren, who was involved in the decision-making process on 2 November, will also move to a new senior position.