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Nigel Chapman

The BBC's journalism - by Nigel Chapman, Director, BBC World Service

The BBC's core values of accuracy, fairness and impartiality underpin all its journalism, irrespective of the language or the medium we use to reach our audiences.

Diversity of points of view

It is also very important to broadcast a diversity of points of view on a subject, and to monitor this spread of opinion over time.

Of course, no individual programme can capture every relevant shade of opinion, but the output, as a whole, must strive to do so; that way, the audience can make up its own mind about who it believes and why.

The ambition is clear. Attaining these goals is not easy and requires thought, vigilance and a determination to monitor standards rigorously.


There should be no axes to grind or hidden agendas in the BBC's journalism; indeed, unless it is already involved in a story as a participating organisation, it has no point of view.

Our job is to report the facts, provide context and analysis and thereby give our audiences the means to form their own view.

We strive to hear from the many shades of opinion already present across the world. Ensuring a similar range of views was part of our remit, too, during the coverage of war in Iraq.

Some people question our commitment to these values, arguing that being funded via Grant-in-Aid from the Foreign Office precludes our being able to broadcast without fear or favour.


Our right to editorial freedom and independence of Government is embedded in the BBC Charter, and in the World Service's Agreement with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The founders of the World Service in 1932 had the foresight to see the value and long-term necessity of such independence, and all parties respect it.

It's one of the reasons why the World Service is trusted and relied upon worldwide and places it in a unique position in international broadcasting.

Our values

These journalistic values are an unshakeable part of our heritage, and the heart of our mission today.

Everyone who works at the BBC is aware of how precious these values are and, whatever the challenge, we strive to uphold them.

And if we make mistakes – as all humans do – we admit them and correct them as soon as possible.

Upholding our reputation for accuracy, fairness and impartiality must be at the heart of everything we do and, I would argue, of any journalistic organisation that wants to be taken seriously across the world.

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