announces stop to journalists' newspaper columns
The BBC today
announced changes to its guidelines covering the circumstances in
which BBC journalists, presenters and freelancers can write regular
columns for newspapers and magazines.
mean that no staff, or regular freelance journalist whose main profile
or income comes from the BBC, will be able to write newspaper or
magazine columns on current affairs or other contentious issues.
The new arrangements
have been approved by the BBC Governors. However, current contracts
in place mean that some columns will continue until Spring next
on specific BBC programmes that are part of an overall press and
publicity plan will be allowed, as will columns on non contentious
issues and food, film or music reviews, or syndicated articles that
appear first on BBC News online.
all must still be approved by a senior manager and submitted to
the relevant publication via the BBC Press Office.
journalists whose main profile and income is not through the BBC
will be exempt.
staff and freelance contracts will not need amending.
news managers are already in discussion with those journalists affected,
the majority of whom are staff employees.
of News Richard Sambrook said: "Impartiality is an essential
element to the BBC's reputation and to our journalism.
our journalists write in papers it is seen as an extension of their
work for the BBC – yet columns and newspaper articles on controversial
issues depend on expressing opinions to an extent which is often
incompatible with the BBC's impartiality.
audience's trust in the independence of the BBC's journalism on
all subjects is something we cannot afford to compromise."
BBC Producer Guidelines dealing with Conflict of Interest will now
be redrafted in line with the agreed changes.