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New Edition of BBC Editorial Guidelines launched today

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David Jordan David Jordan | 09:35 UK time, Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Every four or five years the BBC revises its Editorial Guidelines (before 2005 they were called the Producers’ Guidelines). The latest edition is launched today. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines encapsulate the values and editorial standards every producer of BBC content is expected to follow. Since 2005 they have been formulated within the context of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and, in addition, since 2006 they have been commissioned and signed off by the BBC Trust. For the first time the Guidelines have been subject to public consultation, under the auspices of the Trust.

But the Guidelines continue to be written by me and my colleagues in Editorial Policy and remain the distillation of years of programme-makers’ experience, common sense and judgements about how BBC can meet the high standards expected by our audiences. As always they are designed to help content makers confront with confidence the very many difficult judgements and ethical dilemmas faced every day.

Just as the 2005 edition of the Guidelines incorporated the lessons learned from the Hutton Report and the Gilligan affair, so these guidelines take on board the painful lessons of the serious editorial breaches that occurred in programmes using telephony and interactivity, the fakery uncovered by Queengate and the controversial Brand/Ross incident as well as other editorial developments over the intervening 5 years.

But the Guidelines also respond to the enormous technological changes and developments in the broadcasting industry since the last update. Convergence was a new concept then and is a reality now. So the previously separate Online Services Guidelines have been incorporated in to this edition and a new chapter about Re-use and Reversioning has been added to reflect the growing importance of on-demand viewing and listening and the growing use of archive.

That’s not the only new chapter. As portfolio working increases, so too do the difficulties of ensuring that the activities of content makers, and in particular on-air talent, are consistent with the values of the BBC. A reinstated section on Conflicts of Interest will help guide content makers through these challenges.

Copies of the new edition of the Guidelines are being distributed to all BBC content makers, including Independent producers from tomorrow. They come in to operation from next Monday, October 18.

The Editorial Guidelines website has been completely revised and its 50+ pieces of editorial policy Guidance will be given new prominence. The Guidance is important information for programme makers about how to meet the standards in the Guidelines. The Editorial Guidelines website is publicly available.

The Editorial Guidelines website will also contain links to new Editorial Policy online interactive modules, which have been constructed in partnership with the BBC Academy. The modules are bite size guides to the Guidelines, between 8 and 20 minutes long, in which the guidelines are explored through interactive dilemmas. They are designed to give a basic understanding of editorial policy in areas like Accuracy, Impartiality, Harm and offence, Fairness, Privacy, Children as Contributors and Conflicts of interest. There are 20 of these modules so far. The number will be added to over time.

All of this demonstrates the importance the BBC attaches to its editorial values and its editorial standards. They are crucial to the BBC’s relationship with its audiences and the trust audiences place in us. Nothing could be a greater recommendation for their use and usefulness.

David Jordan is Director of Editorial Policy

You can find out more about the revised Editorial Guidelines in the press release and read the Editorial Guidelines in full.

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I know brevity is required in news story headlines, but care is needed in editing these to avoid ambiguity - especially if the headline is just a link to the story text.
    e.g. Today - "7/7 bodies 'left lying on tracks'"
    Reading the body text its clear what's meant, but at first sight I thought it implied rescuers had left bodies on the track.

  • Comment number 2.

    Why do the BBC have a reporter and camera crew outside the home of Linda Norgrove? It is obvious that her grieving family do not want to speak to the press, they are entitled to privacy, do the BBC News editors have no sense of decency, no compassion, no morals? Send your crew(s) home, they are unwelcome and it is a disgrace that you are trying to gain a benefit from the Norgroves loss.

  • Comment number 3.

    Despite the welcome addition of paying-customer input (at least in perception terms... not to mention being a wee while in coming for a service provider), some aspects still come across as more than 'we know better':

    But the Guidelines continue to be written by me and my colleagues in Editorial Policy and remain the distillation of years of programme-makers’ experience, common sense and judgements

    That would be 'broadcast (only)' experience, etc? Of the genetic kind? Reassuring.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/09/impartiality_is_in_our_genes.html

    Looks like an interesting read. Hopefully not a triumph of rear-covering and box-ticking over sensible communication. Like a police sniper manual, for instance.

    I am just hoping that, near the top, will be an invitation to use the BBC's unique funding to pursue higher ambitions than career-enhancing ratings (which may avoid 'decisions' that lead to Nardi's valid concerns, which would doubtless be dismissed on Newswatch at week's end as 'we think we got it about right' by a sulky editor in a blazer), and to believe that for some reason it's necessary to add a 'take' to facts to 'interpret events' so as to 'enhance the narrative'.

    I am still, for instance, still trying to figure out how, in the first few days of a truly 'fog of war' incident, BBC web (and possibly TV) viewers were offered this 'interpretation' of events:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11514210

    'BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall said the latest developments would raise questions over UK and US relations and the possibility there was an attempt to cover up the circumstances of Ms Norgrove's death.'

    Oddly, the quote above, that I simply copied from the piece a few days ago, seems to have been replaced, retroactively, without acknowledgement. I believe the term is 'stealth editing'. Is this common practice? And covered in the new guidelines? If so, hopefully as not optimal on the trust front.

    One can only presume this 'spur of the moment' comment was felt to be more of a 'view', in light of what is now coming out, slowly but surely, from a confused battle zone. As noted here:

    https://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100058620/10-reasons-to-skip-the-kneejerk-anti-americanism-over-the-death-of-linda-norgrove/

    I once saw this on a newspaper: 'Hew close to the line; and let the chips fall where they may'. Heck of a simple guiding principle for news reporting.


  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry but the BBC's issues with impartiality are one of culture, which cannot simply be addressed by adding a few words to a document your staff will never really read.

    If the BBC was serious about impartiality you wouldnt need a document like this telling us how awesome you are simply because the BBC would already be impartial.

    I mean lets face the truth here. The BBC stopped reporting the news decades ago and instead started reporting its opinion as the news. You want to be serious about reporting the news, get rid of all the BBC blogs which are nothing more than a collection of leftist ideology.

    Please do tell us underserving underlings how exactly the BBC will change how it reports Mann Made Global Warming (tm), Immigration, Islam, Republicans, British way of life, multiculturalism over night? Actually, lets be slightly more realistic, how does the BBC plan to report on any of these items over the next 10 years?

    Sadly, each of the above items I have listed the BBC has shown a marked bias towards. Mann Made Global Warming, the BBC is an advocate. Immigration, the BBC is an advocate for unlimited immigration. Islam, the BBC is an advocate for Islam and censors any and all stories that shines light in the true nature of the beast (anyone seen an in depth analisys of Wilders trial or Theo Van Goughs murder? No, didnt think so). Republicans, how many times did the BBC regurgitate the lie of Palins beautiful son being her grand son? Dont even get me started on how the BBC has treated and still does treat GW. British way of life...the BBC is an advocate for the destruction of the British way of life, after all its unfair to expect all those immigrants to adapt to Britain and fit in.

    So yes, please do explain how you intend to change the BBC when so many of the biases I have listed above are so deeply ingrained in to the corporations leftist culture.

    Regards

    Mailman

  • Comment number 5.

    Do you really need a new document to sum up the 'actual' BBC Editorial Guidelines:

    "Do not deviate from the Guardian editorial line"

    would do it surely?

  • Comment number 6.

    ...."As portfolio working increases, so too do the difficulties of ensuring that the activities of content makers, and in particular on-air talent, are consistent with the values of the BBC."

    Those would be your left wing values, obviously. If the spiteful, metropolitan inverted snobbery broadcast on Radio 4 as "comedy" or "political debate" was Right, rather than Left wing, it would never be allowed; do you actually listen to how offensive it is to the main stream people of this country?

  • Comment number 7.

    Your constantly stated claim to impartiality is either delusional or daily undermined by individual current affairs editors who cannot help by nail their left-leaning views at every opportunity. As the poster above says, it's a standpoint that is extremely offensive to many people (possibly more than you can ever imagine) who do not share the BBC's political certainties.

    If you are really determined to be impartial, then look closely at the following areas, some obvious, some subtle:

    Make sure there is a fair balance of views among the invited guests on political programming, including R4 Today. This does not mean broadcasting a centre-ground view and a left-wing view, both of which sneer with collusion from the presenter at Tory policy past and present.

    Look at the language used and stop beginning every political story with "claims" from the Govt, or policies they are having to "defend". Yes, the BBC's job is to question the Govt of the day and make what it will of inconsistencies or unfairness - but it almost always failed to do that to the last Labour Govt, when Brown would "announce" policy, or be "praised" for initiatives.

    And please do stop the formula of interviewing your own news correspondents, in and out fo the studio. Either interview a key player in the actual story or don't bother. Likewise spurious vox pops which are clearly an assembly of on-message interested parties. Neither of these lazy formulae is news, it is comment - and very often highly biased at that.

  • Comment number 8.

    It is a shame that the BBC has given in to pressure from religious groups to introduce additional restrictions on the criticism of religion.

    The previous guidelines, from 2005, already gave particular respect to sensitivity surrounding certain deities, rituals, scripture, language and the observance of holy days and principal festivals.

    The new guidelines expand on this, additionally stipulating that:

    “Religion and religious views may be criticised but we should ensure there is appropriate context and critical views are open to challenge”

    And:

    “Any content dealing with matters of religion and likely to cause offence to those with religious views and beliefs must be editorially justified as judged against generally accepted standards and must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.”

    In other words, criticism of religion must not go unchallenged, and any serious criticism must receive approval from a senior editorial figure.

    The new guidelines therefore give unique protection to religion from any unchallenged criticism and require senior approval for any content that religious people may consider offensive.

    As any discussion on the sensitive issue of beliefs has the potential to offend someone, the new guidelines represent a serious curtailment of free speech and offer religious ideas an undeserved and dangerous privilege that applies to no other subject area.

  • Comment number 9.

    Does this new spirit of openness mean we'll get to see the Balen Report then?

  • Comment number 10.

    Three words that sum up the BBC's bias:

    "The Prophet Mohammed"

    The vast majority of Brits do not recognise Mohammed as a prophet.

  • Comment number 11.

    particulars, most interesting… for sure.

    11.4.13

    We must not reveal security details or other sensitive information not widely in the public domain which might assist an attack.

    11.4.13

    We must reveal security details or other sensitive information widely in the public domain which might prevent an attack.

    Guidelines are tricky…

    Say, should we mark this as 'beginning of evaluation period'?

    Values… hope this isn't one of those fraudulent and meaningless revisions.

  • Comment number 12.

    Coverage of the Chile miners rescue on BBC World News went way over the top. The sight of an endless succession of BBC journalists and newsreaders struggling to find something new and interesting to talk about during their interminable reporting stints whilst absolutely nothing above ground was happening was unedifying and tedious in the extreme.

    The reported minutiae of the event got to me eventually and I sought different channels for other world news.

    This was classic intrusive media frenzy at work - I just felt very sorry for the miners and their families who had no escape from the intrusion.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hello and thanks for your comments everyone. I've spoken to David Jordan (Director of Editorial Guidelines and author of this post) and his response is below:


    "Thanks for your comments. Some of the issues you write about are examples of exactly why we have Editorial Guidelines. Hundreds of times every day the BBC's editorial staff around the world are making decisions about how to cover news stories. The Editorial Guidelines are simply that, guidelines, and my team and I work in an advisory capacity to the staff responsible for making those, often finely balanced, decisions. I believe our Guidelines are clear and expect that you do judge our content against the high standards we set for ourselves."

    I am looking into responses to your other questions.
    Best wishes,
    Laura.

  • Comment number 14.

    I object to the article title:
    "Being in love 'can ease pain', boffins decide"

    Scientists spend many dedicated years training to do a difficult, relatively low paid (for the commitment required) and absolutely necessary job. We need to encourage more young people to become scientists. Terms of ridicule like 'boffin' and 'egghead' are entirely out of place on the BBC.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well, at least Mr Jordan has had the decency to reply, unlike Helen Boaden whose claim that "impartiality is in our genes" was made to look rather optimistic by subsequent comments.

    But if you want us to believe that editorial guidelines have been met, and impartiality is achieved, publish the results of your reviews. You DO review these things at the BBC, don't you, and have statistics to back up your claims?

  • Comment number 16.

    Dear Ms. Editor, on behalf of the original author...

    'I am looking into responses to your other questions.'

    Looking forward, in turn, to getting them. Maybe, next time, from him directly. Uneditted?

    One does have to wonder what happens, tangibly, when personal 'enthusiasm' stretches professional good practice. It would be an unfortunate precedent when 'reporting' (and editorial) oversight conspires more to make a bad situation even worse. Hardly 'finely balanced', unless one is already in an environment where that interpretation is the norm and plays well. And especially odd when this seems to happen in the case of 'diplomatic' correspondents. As here, in the Telegraph:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8063036/Linda-Norgrove-US-soldier-faces-action-over-death-of-kidnapped-aid-worker.html

    A still-evolving case, it seems, yet the subhead is a masterpiece of a too prevalent projection of what is evidently hoped (for the sake of the story) over facts... '...believed to have thrown a grenade that killed the kidnapped British aid worker Linda Norgrove in an unsuccessful rescue attempt could face...'. At best, a sad indication of the demands of 24/7 slots to fill where patience, confirmation and substantiation are the newest victims of war coverage?

    Reading on, it seems the fog of war has now moved to the fog of diplomacy, often muddied by the stirring of reporting. Still, I don't sense the same US/UK infighting (Mr. Cameron is, I hear on the news, talking with Gen. Petraeus today, and this indeed may be a robust exchange if there was deliberate misinformation at any level. But I still struggle, as some mists clear, to see this as questions being raised on relations between the two countries in the manner described at the time, other than by those seeking to get tensions higher than perhaps optimal in an already fraught war zone coalition situation) as suggested in the now vanished commentary by the BBC's Bridget Kendall, nor quite the same outrage over a 'cover up'. I refer of course to the initial bomb vest vs. fragging claims from combat-enervated troops reeling from a failled rescue in initial reports up the chain of command, not the stealth edit by the BBC to its leisurely 'evolving' coverage from the comfort of a news office.

    So feedback on this will be appreciated. As Ms. Boaden found on her (now, sadly, closed) post, preaching is one thing, but practice is much better to show tangible conviction. Otherwise it is just so much puff.

    It may be worth reiterating the line I quoted above. Maybe it is, again, worth taking a pause to ask, 'Is this what is? Or is this what we think (or worse, through preconception, hope) it might be?' If the latter, I'd say no guideline should be required. Simply common sense and professional integrity.

  • Comment number 17.

    Correctly 'mailmannz' writes:

    "Sorry but the BBC's issues with impartiality are one of culture, which cannot simply be addressed by adding a few words to a document your staff will never really read."

    "If the BBC was serious about impartiality you wouldnt need a document like this telling us how awesome you are simply because the BBC would already be impartial."

    "I mean lets face the truth here. The BBC stopped reporting the news decades ago and instead started reporting its opinion as the news. You want to be serious about reporting the news, get rid of all the BBC blogs which are nothing more than a collection of leftist ideology."

    "Please do tell us underserving underlings how exactly the BBC will change how it reports Mann Made Global Warming (tm), Immigration, Islam, Republicans, British way of life, multiculturalism over night? Actually, lets be slightly more realistic, how does the BBC plan to report on any of these items over the next 10 years?"

    "Sadly, each of the above items I have listed the BBC has shown a marked bias towards. Mann Made Global Warming, the BBC is an advocate. Immigration, the BBC is an advocate for unlimited immigration. Islam, the BBC is an advocate for Islam and censors any and all stories that shines light in the true nature of the beast (anyone seen an in depth analisys of Wilders trial or Theo Van Goughs murder? No, didnt think so)." "Republicans, how many times did the BBC regurgitate the lie of Palins beautiful son being her grand son? Dont even get me started on how the BBC has treated and still does treat GW. British way of life...the BBC is an advocate for the destruction of the British way of life, after all its unfair to expect all those immigrants to adapt to Britain and fit in."

    "So yes, please do explain how you intend to change the BBC when so many of the biases I have listed above are so deeply ingrained in to the corporations leftist culture."

    This comment tells the real truth of the BBC. Whether the hierarchy know it or not, it’s hard to think they live in a completely different world.

    Roy

  • Comment number 18.


    Are there any guidelines on the uncritical publication by the BBC of propaganda from dubious sources? I refer specifically to the incident on Friday of two stone-throwing Palestinian children being hit by a car driven by an Israeli in Jerusalem. The BBC reported the incident on its News Website, including photographs of the actual accident.

    Nothing wrong with that, obviusly, except that the BBC carefully excised from its article any mention of the fact that a whole bunch of journalists and photographers were standing around waiting for these small children to endanger themsleves by running into the road to attack an Israeli driver, as is clear from this video of the incident:

    https://5mfi.com/blogs/5mfi-blog/set-up-stoned-and-skittled/

    The BBC also did not mention that such cynical manipulation of the very young for the purpose of a scoop is unethical, to put it mildly. Surely this is against the BBC's own guidelines?

    Worse, the BBC wrote this:

    The incident was photographed by journalists, who were in the area in case of unrest after Friday prayers.
    That is a total misrepresentation of what those journalists and phorographer were really doing.


  • Comment number 19.

    It is all very well producing editorial guidelines but where is the monitoring to ensure these are being observed? All we as licence fee payers see are false claims of impartiality by Helen Boaden and others. This is arrogance at its worst as daily examples of bias are clearly seen and heard and complaints or comments are usually ignored with smug indifference. The internal view of the BBC is that they are only reporting news but many feel they are putting their own slant and views on it instead.

  • Comment number 20.

    TrueToo,

    Yes indeed TrueToo but then again, what did you expect the BBC to say? Did you expect them to give you the truth when it comes to anything related to Israel?

    Hell, the one time the BBC slips up and actually does its job it then caves in to rabid anti-semites and agrees to investigate itself (in regards to the Panorama documentary on the Turkish created incident near Gaza).

    The BBC really does need to investigate its news reporting and it can start straight away by releasing the Balen report. Chances of either ever happening? Id say nil.

    Mailman

  • Comment number 21.


    To roy smith #17

    "Sorry but the BBC's issues with impartiality are one of culture, which cannot simply be addressed by adding a few words to a document your staff will never really read."

    You agree with mailmannz that culture is important and affects output, so it would be interesting to find out your description of an ideal and correct centrist culture for a media organisation, things like:

    political profiles,
    interests of the host/owners,
    how it's funded,
    number/transparency of content auditing processes,
    the geographical/cultural/political/religious mix of contributors
    reflecting a British or global perspective,
    scope of positions affected by this profile
    and so on.

  • Comment number 22.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/bbc_news_coverage_of_san_jose.html

    The truth is, the preparation and the resourcing of one of the biggest stories of the year is expensive. The cost - and some of the difficult choices we now have to make about what future stories we may have to pull back from to recoup the cost - has also drawn some press comment. Making choices and prioritising is about spending the licence fee responsibly. And it seems the audience values the investment we made.

    We don't always get it right. When we do - and when it strikes a chord - it's great to know.

    Congrats on the... ratings. Do the number of staff committed get divided into these when the stats, darn stats and justifications are compiled?

    Just... a little unsure on who 'the audience' is. Seems a wee bit over-inclusive if meant to cover all licence fee payers. Even.. presumptuous. Maybe some in there are a little less than thrilled at where the 'pull backs' may being coming.

    And if this does transpire to be more than a few, maybe that would be good to know... if it gets shared.

    There does seem a lot of PR effort on employees telling folk how great certain stuff is, which does rather get spoiled a tad by other staff rushing about 'dealing' with things that are out of BBC control, and come across, or indeed may be a wee bit less rosy.

  • Comment number 23.

    20. mailmannz wrote:

    Hell, the one time the BBC slips up and actually does its job it then caves in to rabid anti-semites and agrees to investigate itself (in regards to the Panorama documentary on the Turkish created incident near Gaza).

    Yes, and the time a BBC journalist slipped up and called Jerusalem the capital of Israel (which it is) the BBC responded to complaints from the anti-Israel brigade with a lightning-quick and abject apology.

    I've never seen the BBC react that quickly to a complaint.

  • Comment number 24.

    13. At 07:54am on 14 Oct 2010, Laura Editor wrote:
    I am looking into responses to your other questions.


    Dear Ms. Editor,

    As I gather it is you, and not the author 'looking into' what is now around 20 bits of feedback, and not all posing questions, I do hope the answers will not be too long in coming.

    Nordic folklore has its place, and this thread is well tucked away, but there may become a time when even this becomes where the wilder posts are and, sadly, that can often be used as an excuse to 'close for comments'.

    If that were to pre-empt the promised answers, and any pertinent replies, it would be unfortunate.

  • Comment number 25.

    To _marko #21

    The whole shibboleth of the BBC has had its day. It has been so over-run by the left, with its crazy political correctness, pro-Islamic and anti-British propagandists; there seems little room to expect any change. The licensing by forced subscription of the public has worn out its usefulness. It has been manipulated to death. If it needs to continue it should be run along the same lines as Sky TV . . . you pay for what you ask for. If you want the BBC you buy the box enabling you to tune in to the BBC. The BBC would then find itself competing with any and all private broadcasters. There would then be no political interference or manipulation, nor should there be any regulation to what is said or done other than decency overall. Ratings would regulate content. If you want no advertising you buy the box and pay the sub, if you don’t mind advertising you get what the ratings suggest. The licensing of TV is thus finished and so would the monopolistic position of the BBC in Britain.

    Roy

  • Comment number 26.

    So how does the Costing the Earth programme Can Lawyers Save the World (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v72r3%29 square with these new guidelines? Or are they just so much hot air? I've come across some pretty one-sided programmes but this one takes the biscuit.

  • Comment number 27.

    To roy smith #25

    Yes I'm sure that a shibboleth of crazy political incorrectness, anti-islamic and pro-national propaganda, unregulated, with advertising, anonymously controlled, owned and manipulated, and a monopoly would be very popular.

  • Comment number 28.

    '26. At 10:25am on 15 Oct 2010, Roland D wrote:

    Oh, dear Lord. Lawyers? Really? Are they serious?

    There are, of course, many fine examples of legal recourse righting wrongs. Most in this piece ain't it. Certainly in 'saving the planet'. Most of the vox-pops sounded more like ''no-win, no-fee" ads! The legal aid guys must be rubbing their hands at what the.. a-ha... taxpayers are going to pay for. What next, a lawyer's fee to complement the licence one? One can see how that may appeal to the 'natural order' Aunty's finest espouse.

    Only today, I recall a news item (on the BBC, so it may well be true) that suggested that 30% is pretty good as compo for victims, with the rest... 70%... going to lawyers.

    That... is not making my kids' futures better. That... is making rich parasites richer in the name of 'green'. Once we get carbon trading outfits using legal challenges then that's pretty much 100% of public funds going to reward the players and sharks... dutifully 'reported' upon by the BBC. Is it true - a new question for Ms. Editor (please avoid semantics or weasels) - that senior news management also sit on boards overseeing investments for the BBC pensions in areas that, shall we say, may benefit from this line of narrative enhancing?

    If the BBC is serious, they can join their new heroes on the 'B' Ark as founder contributers to societal value.

    https://www.geoffwilkins.net/fragments/Adams.htm

  • Comment number 29.

    To _marko #27

    This is your extreme interpretation. You mean to say you do not have an anonymously controlled, manipulated, and an outright monopoly with the BBC, right now?

    A little unregulated "pro-national" broadcasting would be an healthy start to a now much diminished and antagonised English/British culture and nationalism.

    Roy

  • Comment number 30.

    Here's one hot off the tweet presses (which I hear is how the BBC launches all news, such as its new controller, I guess because every licence fee payer is an avid twitter user):

    @ecotricity UPDATE: We've got BBC to change story to say "occasionally" not "significant numbers of bats & birds killed": https://cot.ag/ayX9oH

    Rather raises a couple of issues in one sentence, from reporting standards going in, to possibly raising the spectre of the precedent set by Mr. Harrabin's nemesis, Ms. Abbess (though a respected industry player is not the same, one wonders why they were not contacted for comment as part of the overall piece, sparing them now influencing editorial).

    Oh, and stealth editing again, possibly. Hard to prove a negative, but no obvious signs that this piece is, also, evolving... in the not as factually the same now as it was.

  • Comment number 31.

    That's another few questions, by the by.

    Was this piece subsequently edited to correct facts?

    Was this at the behest of a 3rd party?

    Were these claims tested in turn?

    Was the edit acknowledged?

    Is such practice covered in the guide/module?

    If so, please provide a link/location?

    Many thx.

  • Comment number 32.

    England withdraw from the race to host the 2022 World Cup and will now focus on it's bid for the 2018 event.

    Please get the basics right. I don't think england is a bid for the 2018 anything ...

  • Comment number 33.

    I understand the BBC has strict guidelines imposed on it on bias in political reporting, especially in the month before an election. This did not deter Sarah Bell from procucing a cheerleading article for her Lib Dem friend Susan Kramer of Richmond Park on April 16th. I read the piece in growing astonishment as she reported on the opinions of six Lib Dem voters and not a single Conservative and threw in a misleading comment on the tax issues of Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate.

    How did the BBC respond to complaints about this article? A week or two later it deleted all evidence of the pro-Lib Dem content, removed Sarah Bell's name, changed the title and inserted a poor editorial response, giving no information on the damage that had been done and directing readers to a balanced article, hastily written as damage control.

    The censored article is here:

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8626338.stm

    The Editor's Note, typically, gives no indication that the article was highly prejudicial to the Conservatives. Anyway, by then it was academic since the damage had been done.

    The BBC should have left that article as it was and made a prominent apology on the Election 2010 page for trying to mislead and influence voters. How it in fact dealt with the matter is most revealing of the BBC's unaccountable behaviour and scorn for the public. And it has deleted the evidence, thereby effectively neutralising complaints.

    I was delighted to learn that the Conservatives won Richmond Park by a comfortable majority. Funny that Sarah Bell could not find one voter who supported the Conservatives three weeks before the election.

  • Comment number 34.

    Under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, "The religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination must not be subject to abusive treatment". In law, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, which applies to England and Wales, forbids a person from using threatening words or behaviour or displaying written material that is threatening" if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred".

    This is utterly disgraceful. This is clearly protection of religion not to be criticised. It was disgraceful of the state to pass such laws and it is a disgraceful editorial policy.

    Non-stop coverage of the Pope's visit all over News 24. Also utterly disgraceful.

    Go and read any religious scripture and what do you do with all those hateful violent and offensive parts? Oh, they're now fully protected by a special status. Thank you Britain. Thank you BBC.

  • Comment number 35.

    I posted the following on the mine rescue thread in error so I reproduce a slightly-amended version here:

    In the unlikely event that Laura and Mr. Jordan are reading this thread, I would like to explain to them that if they are bemused by the cynicism and hostility displayed towards the BBC in so many of these blogs, they should note that it becomes particularly acute when we are told that the BBC is impartial and given assurances that it is following guidelines - and then our feedback proving the opposite is ignored.

    Who would like to bet that neither of them will come back with a response here and that the thread will eventually be, "Closed to Comments" without any evidence that they have even read the feedback?

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    '35. At 08:33am on 16 Oct 2010, TrueToo wrote:
    Who would like to bet that neither of them will come back with a response here and that the thread will eventually be, "Closed to Comments" without any evidence that they have even read the feedback?


    Not a bet I'd take.

    Their house elf has already be deployed elsewhere to spew bile that oddly gets through the mods, with a measured reply catch-all House Ruled (likely to provoke, attack or offend others, use swear words, or disrupt the message boards) by the variably-applied 'system' before one can utter a hypocra-oath.

    Ms. Editor, I'd like the answers promised to the questions before this happens, and soon. Please.

  • Comment number 38.

    What fraction of BBC output do you estimate doesn't conform to the new Editorial Guidelines?

    (expressed in some measurable form: stories per day, percentage of total online output, video or audio hours, omitted/expected output as percentage of actual total output and so on or some other measurable parameter that you think is appropriate)

  • Comment number 39.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/biodiversity_lost_or_missing.html

    Have Your Say, 16 October 2010: "How Much Should The UK Spend On Defense?"

    Blog opened for comment at 11.20
    Blog closed for comment at 11.50

    Comments received within the allowed time - 1


    Had a gander just now but no obvious way to search the a daily back-archive, and hence confirm.

    So... is this correct?

    And hence, any comment? Before anything gets closed for some reason.

    It does seem a real possibility these days. After a wee bit of modding.

  • Comment number 40.

    I know it's off subject but the "have your say" is like multiculturalism... it seems to work only for those who wish it to...

    I have tried to comment on various issues but the link always seems to be hidden.. like the UK's agenda's

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Thank you for all your many and varied comments about BBC output and the new Editorial Guidelines. I am going to respond to comments on the Guidelines, which was the subject of my blog. A number of you have commented on editorial as opposed to editorial policy issues. To give you an indication of the difference: an editorial question might be, how much coverage should we show of the extraordinary rescue of the Chilean miners? A related editorial policy question might have been, how much should we show if one of the rescued miners is brought out badly injured (fortunately that didn't happen). That kind of question raises the balance between privacy and intrusion on the public interest and is the sort of issue addressed by the principles and practices in the Editorial Guidelines.

    Many of you have wondered how the Guidelines are applied and evaluated. Everyone who makes programmes for the BBC, either in-house or in an Independent production company, must ensure their programmes meet our standards and I'm confident that having Guidelines and supporting them with advice from my team means that, in the vast majority of cases, we do meet these standards. On the rare occasions when we don't the BBC is held to account by your complaints, which, if necessary, can be dealt with by our own Editorial Complaints Unit, the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee and the independent broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, which will take complaints about BBC output on most editorial standards issues (accuracy and impartiality are reserved for the BBC Trust). The outcomes of these complaints can result, in the most serious cases, in censure, or even fines levied by Ofcom. The outcomes ie whether they are upheld or not upheld against the standards in our Guidelines or the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, also influence the advice given by my team on the interpretation of our Guidelines. In addition, of course, our audiences and the rest of the media comment on our programmes and output every day of every week in every year, a more instant form of feedback.

    I can assure you that it is not the case that the Guidelines on religion have been redrawn as a result of pressure groups comment. The new Guideline is not designed to place additional retrictions on output dealing with religion. It will make no difference to current best practice: it simply seeks to ensure that best practice is followed by all BBC content makers. The updated Guidelines would not have made any difference to our decision to show programmes like 'Jerry Springer The Opera' and will definitely not be an impediment to creative and challenging content dealing with religion in the future.

    Incidentally there was nothing sinister anbout asking LauraEditor to post for me on. We had just launched the Guidelines and, as you can imagine, it was very busy time.

  • Comment number 43.

    "Many of you have wondered how the Guidelines are applied and evaluated."

    Your reply doesn't address this, though. It just says that everyone who makes programmes must meet the standards. Yes, but HOW do you evaluate whether these standards are met? Do you just wait for complaints? Or do you have systematic review, the results of which are made public to demonstrate how you arrive at the conclusion that standards are being met?

    I'm afraid it comes across as more in the vein of Ms Boaden's claim that the BBC isn't biased because she says so.

  • Comment number 44.

    I agree with RD that it appears that there is no proper evaluation but that they just wait for complaints. Given that the response to these is patchy, and delayed at best, I certainly have no confidence that editorial guidelines or impartiality is being monitored at all. There seems to be no evidence that any proper controls are in place and BBC senior management seem to rely on their own arrogance rather than ensuring they seek the views of the licence fee payers.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mr. Jordan,

    Whilst one appreciates 'a' reply (rare enough, to be sure), I regret that after most of what I have read I remain pretty much none the wiser on just about anything, such less tangibles.

    I am going to respond to comments on the Guidelines, which was the subject of my blog. A number of you have commented on editorial as opposed to editorial policy issues.

    At least the 'off topic' scythe was not deployed, though I sense it was tempting. But this reply still rather seems to be trying to hide behind semantics, as I suspect many see one as the servant of the other, and this comes across as two kids standing next to a broken window pointing at the other person. The window is still in pieces.

    Hence 'I am looking into responses to your other questions.' actually meant 'I am looking at the bits I fancy addressing and ignoring or omitting those parts I disagree with or don't fancy'. Which does rather seem to sum up BBC editorial policy - from story gathering to 'reporting', to blog modding to complaint handling - quite well for some, I suspect. Ironically.

    Sorry, this may be an interactive blog, but the 'broadcast only... and lump it' mentality is still loud and not very clear. Many valid questions, yet near zero answers. And if not here, where? Ms. Boaden's novel 'You love us, you really love us' attempt rather fell on stony ground, and instead of responding to anything simply got closed.

    'Incidentally there was nothing sinister anbout asking LauraEditor to post for me on. We had just launched the Guidelines and, as you can imagine, it was very busy time.' - [if this does get retroactively corrected for typos and missing words, please at least acknowledge they were made, much as it can be tempting to leave commenters high and dry by enjoying the extra privileges of controlling the playground ].

    I am sorry, the first sentence of this final para makes no sense to me. Which may be explained, if not well justified by the second. However, it's best you don't start what you can't make a good job of seeing to completion. Including explanatory blog threads in complement, and trying to compliment, the new guidelines. Some time was surely anticipated having posted a blog comment with an open thread?

    At least, that's how it works with customer service in the private sector. But then, it is a little less 'unique' out here at the 'mo.

  • Comment number 46.

    As it is topical, and pertinent to the discussion on editorial guidelines, maybe this should be complemented as a twitter feed?

    https://order-order.com/2010/10/20/bbc-bosses-to-left-wing-staff-stop-tweeting/
    https://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2010/10/twitter-ye-not.html

    Or, then again, maybe not.

    It might 'look' bad (but at least, as is too often the practice, what it actually is, can be dealt with in post-production).

    Personally if have a few concerns as to the value of much of this 'exercise', when it seems the guys in charge are reduced to issuing schoolmarmy pleas ('I suggest'???)- 'We have had some occasions recently of BBC News staff using social networking sites to share with the world their somewhat controversial opinions on matters of public policy and the future of the BBC. Unsurprisingly, these have been picked up by the wider web and used to discredit the BBC and its impartiality. We have Editorial Guidelines which cover the personal use of the internet …which everyone should observe. We also have brains and judgement which I suggest people fully engage before rushing to communicate. Hx - that the kids in class willfully ignore at whim, perhaps secure in the knowledge that there are few if any sanctions of value these days.

    Hugs.. JM

  • Comment number 47.

    Quick technical question, which I do hope does fall under the purview of Editorial Guidelines and the purview of this thread. It is inspired by this, currently main home page story

    The Nation's Reaction
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11585200

    I'm just interested in what processes are undergone by correspondents to 'guage reactions', from who is asked, where they are asked and what decides whose quote is deemed representative enough (of 'the Nation'), or not, to include.

    Or not.

  • Comment number 48.


    Mr Jordan, as you and your colleagues continue to write the guidelines in Editorial Policy, would it be too much to ask that you brief your staff on the difference between women/men and parents.

    Mark Easton's latest blog title asks "Will cuts change the role of women?" One might be forgiven for believing we are living in the 50s. There is no role of women. There are parents, childless adults and in both of these categories are men and women. To continually propogate outdated "roles" according to the sex of a human being can hardly be the BBC's remit whilst maintaining its genetic impartiality.

  • Comment number 49.

    Is there a reason why the image on

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/news/news-new-guidelines/

    is of size 1920x1080 ?!? All it does is eat into users' bandwidth allowances.

    The original is here:

    https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/images/Front_for_home.JPG

    and the same problem occurs for each chapter too.

    Also, do these guidelines contain the instruction to write in single-sentence paragraphs, or is that somewhere else? It leads to the most ridiculous and hard-to-read articles.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    Interesting blog on related policy issues here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/bbc_news_linking_policy_4.html

    Be interested in the guidelines that are shaping the modding there, mind.

  • Comment number 52.

    Once again the BBC news coverage this morning tried to best guess what was going to happen and got it wrong.

    All morning the Breakfast programme on BBC1 has been reporting that the economic figures due to be released later in the morning would show that the economy was slowing down only for the actual figures to show the exact opposite (see Brian Milligans report from earlier this morning on your website).

    Do these new editorial guidelines tackle the issue of the BBC trying to invent the news and comment on it rather than waiting till the news actually happens and then reporting on it as the BBC did 'in the old days'?

  • Comment number 53.

    51. At 10:45am on 22 Oct 2010, you wrote:
    Interesting blog on related policy issues here:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/bbc_news_linking_policy_4.html
    Be interested in the guidelines that are shaping the modding there, mind.


    Especially as now, like an awful lot on that set of threads, it has been closed.

    52. At 11:28am on 26 Oct 2010, DelSale wrote:
    Do these new editorial guidelines tackle the issue of the BBC trying to invent the news and comment on it rather than waiting till the news actually happens and then reporting on it ..


    What, and stop making things up to suit? Or, in posh terms 'enhancing the narrative' or 'interpreting events'.

    I'm still trying to get my head around this gem as a result of some (viewer?) feedback on a bit of possibly views over news 'reporting' that more usually would have got erased quicksmart without any acknowledgement:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11465771

    "Note: October 22. This story has been amended to change the headline and the introductory paragraphs to ensure it is factually based and could not be interpreted as commentary on the circumstances surrounding the case by the BBC."

    Precedent? Or exceptions proving rules? Without access to cache archives still not much use other than to flag what was even recognised internally as pants is now less contentious thanks to post-event tidying-up, and in tonality terms reads to me more as concern over how things may 'look' as opposed to any professional compromises laid bare.




  • Comment number 54.

    Dear David,
    would it be possible for you to look at the editorail guidelines regarding the reporting of the recent growth figures for the UK please?
    For a while, we've had stories, reports, interviews and much discussion regarding how bad teh figures will be only for the figures to be very good.

    Is the BBC now in the business of news forecasting based upon its own political slant? What else would these reports be based upon if not the BBC's own ideology as the facts were not present and would not be for some time.

    I think you and morevoer the Country would do well to look again at what drives stories that have not yet materialised - Twitter seems to have lifted the lid on what many have suspected for some time.
    Thank you.

  • Comment number 55.

    I originally came to this from the News Editors Blog. Not sure the latest featured are encouraging:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/bbc_news_linking_policy_4.html - This entry is now closed for comments

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/biodiversity_lost_or_missing.html - This entry is now closed for comments

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/10/bbc_news_coverage_of_san_jose.html - This entry is now closed for comments

    All 'younger' and many with fewer comments. Fewer still as was highlighted when I was informed, days later, that someone had a problem with what I had written and, after due reflection, the mods agreed.

    Sadly rephrasing or calling this into question no longer an option.

  • Comment number 56.

    Oh, and while one wearily expects a Nick Robinson -https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2010/10/last_nights_six_oclock_news.html - This entry is now closed for comments - to close pretty much before it has opened (or at least before anyone with a real job gets back home), or a Richard Black to hit the pause button for 'watertight oversight' (a seemingly rather selective measure of how legally information has been obtained - 'some leaks/hacks are more acceptable to quote than others' - before 'risking' rushing to broadcast/print") I know things are coming to a head when an Andrew Neil is now also followng suit:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2010/10/what_about_the_private_sector.html - This entry is now closed for comments - at 127, when this was a blog that almost arrived at 3k in a few months not long before.

    Now, this may not just be a matter so much for guidelines (but enough, mods, for the OT blanket to be constrained) but also editorial too. Perhaps... here... https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/09/impartiality_is_in_our_genes.html

    Ah... This entry is now closed for comments, too.

    Not really... optimal, is it?

  • Comment number 57.

    Today I heard on the World Service news that right wing demonstrators had gone to an Israeli city and been opposed by, firstly, Palestinians and then in the next bulletin, by Arabs. But from the context it seemed that they were Israelis of 'Arab' descent. If my assumption is correct this not acceptable reporting. You refer to people as African Americans. You do not call them Africans.

  • Comment number 58.

    Bearing in mind your guidelines for impartiality, can someone at the BBC please explain why yesterday morning their headline was:

    "UK GDP economy figures expected to show growth slowdown"

    and the BBC had every labour spin-master/MP/supporter thrown at the news telling us that the economy was in dire trouble due to the tory cuts, with the BBC constantly spinning the evil-tories-destroy-the-country line on behalf of labour....

    ....and then, an hour or so later, when the true figures were published and the BBC couldn't ignore them, the BBC were forced to change their headline to something a bit more truthful:

    "UK recovery faster than expected"

    and then the BBC brushed it aside as a meaningless blip and swiftly moved on to any other story they could that didn't mention the economy, and buried/forgot-about the original completely false story that they'd invented earlier in the day to support the labour spin machine?

    Your guidelines are a joke.

  • Comment number 59.

    In fairness the guidelines are not a joke but the total lack of monitoring of them in particular for impartiality is!

  • Comment number 60.

    On this impartiality thing, which one presumes is a keystone of the guidelines, isn't there a minor Tory councillor you could be highlighting for being a bit of a less than PR-savvy numptie...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-11609438

    Whilst, for proper context, studiously ignoring others...

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1062940/I-obeying-orders---Schools-Secretary-Eddie-Balls-dressed-German-officer.html

    Matthew Bannister, deputising for Jeremy Vine, from a very high, and indignant pedestal, devoted a good 1/2 hr to it, with much faux outrage that any public figure would wear or use dress iconography that celebrated people with a poor 'respect for life' record.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vg8ry/Jeremy_Vine_28_10_2010/

    One hopes that such shock and horror will resonate throughout the BBC as the true import of such things sinks in.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00b3lfm

    And who may be caught up in the web of revulsion for sporting an errant 'Tee', Mao badge of Stalinist star?

  • Comment number 61.

    Dear Gwm,
    thanks for your comment, I've spoken to the News Team and have this response for you:

    "BBC World Service adheres to strict editorial guidelines of impartiality, balance, and high editorial and ethical standards.

    Often when the fine detail of a story is complicated, and you have a short news bulletin, there is a simplifying and shortening of a story.

    In this particular case, the story you refer to was run alongside a despatch from Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Israel, where he uses the term 'Israeli Arab' (see below). However, this was shortened in the written story to just 'Arab'.

    We often face this issue in parts of the world with complicated backgrounds to stories. It is a fine judgement taken on an individual basis but we remain sensitive to this issue.

    The full piece is below.

    Thanks".


    STORY

    (Israeli police have clashed with protesters in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel as Israeli far-right activists paraded through the streets. The security forces have fired tear gas and arrested some Arab protestors. The Jewish marchers are followers of a far-right movement (Kach) which believes Arabs should be expelled from Israel and the West Bank. Here's Rupert Wingfield Hayes)

    For nearly two hours groups of Arab Israeli youths and Israeli riot police fought running street battles here in Israel's second biggest Arab town. The police fired volley after volley of tear gas grenades, the Israeli Arab youths returned a hail of rocks and stones. Meanwhile somewhere else on the edge of Umm al-Fahm a group of extreme right wing Israeli's arrived in armoured buses under heavy police guard. For a few minutes they were allowed off to walk around before being whisked away again. The protest may have been little more than symbolic but the group called 'Israel Our Land' is considered to be extremely hostile to Israel's Arab minority. The local population here in Umm al-Fahm considers this annual protest by 'Israel Our Land' to be a deliberate provocation and one they are determined to stop.

    Best wishes,
    Laura.

  • Comment number 62.

    Now in broadcast (only), too.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qjrk2

    Nice to see some questions answered. Others remain matters of omission. There... and here.

    A significant concern with how Editorial is 'guided'. As Ray Snoddy cheerfully said (with no response - possible? - to the blatant economy trash-job wrong footing), meanwhile...

    Had to laugh at hearing the near inevitable reply to a critique: 'No, I don't think so'. What is 'thought' by a devotee of the Mandy Rice Davis school of pithy response being hardly relevant.

    Meanwhile, at a cherry orchard near you...

    61. At 2:58pm on 29 Oct 2010, Laura Editor wrote:
    Dear Gwm,
    Often when the fine detail of a story is complicated, and you have a short news bulletin, there is a simplifying and shortening of a story...


    So if someone writes, say, ''BBC News is [now utterly compromised by semantic distinctions based on excuses based on the audience needing to link one piece with another to somehow gain full context] in the process of shaping the narrative, with many [usually internally or from a loyal core base] agreeing this is more than legitimate", which sections would be retained, and which edited, if placed elsewhere to be trotted out later or 'buried' under the guise of evolving news?

  • Comment number 63.

    Not too hopeful of any answers, but just wondering how this managed to happen..

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/sun_says/3207401/The-Sun-Says.html

    'The BBC is generously run on public money. It has a charter promising editorial independence.
    That must not become a licence for malicious and unscrupulous propaganda.


    A little more reporting of news and a little less seeking views to suit might go a long way?

  • Comment number 64.

    Pre-new guidelines, but I am interested in the concept of 'negotiating apologies'..

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8035539/BBC-apologises-to-Bob-Geldof-for-Band-Aid-slur.html

    "The story was picked up by BBC One’s Six O’Clock News, which specifically said that the TPLF had “siphoned off” money raised by Band Aid."

    One is sure, as the story got 'evolved', that would have been quietly dropped, but in no way represented stealth editing?

  • Comment number 65.

    All 'one man's terrorist...', 'n all, but i am interested in the use of possibly pejoratively perceived terms in stories, editorial guideline-wise.

    When it's OK:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/michaelcrick/2010/11/tories_and_lib_dems_offer_jobs.html

    '..responsible for the internet propaganda service Web-Cameron'

    When it's to be avoided:

    https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8389286.stm

    '...Mrs Brown's "tweets" on campaigning issues and visits have proved popular, with 987,460 followers.'

  • Comment number 66.

    Seems to be a lot more censorship on this website, under threat?

    Why do the BBC pick the news subject we can comment on? 'Fresh under wear please'!

    If 'we' don't have an opinion, we may as well not exist! and neither should this website! By the way, I copy all my blogs! For posterity!
    So if they are 'moderated' (censored) I can reason out why! Check out my next post!

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    On blogs, exchange is valuable, and can be appreciated.

    However, I am wondering if there are editorial guidelines in place explained by such as this:

    "Don't bother emailing complaints to BBC head of news Helen Boaden. She was at the launch evening for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford last Monday night. Discussion turned to protest groups and lobbying outfits which email their views to senior editors. Boaden's response: 'Oh, I just changed my email address.' So much for the Beeb being accountable."
    'Media Diary - Helen the hidden', The Independent, November 26, 2006


    [The URL has failed the BBC profanity filter. Apparently. Shame there isn't an irony one, too]

    Is this true?

  • Comment number 69.

    With many BBC editorial blogs now not refreshed, closed as soon as they open or posts sent to the limbo of eternal modding, it would be a real shame to find that this one, priding itself on asking for input and claiming a desire to respond to questions, saw fit to consider for too long a question regarding the MSM-quoted claims of a board level editor on how to avoid answering questions.

    That would be too ironic. As is, already, the need to consider in the first place.

  • Comment number 70.

    Maybe a backing track will help reinvigorate the thread?...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuUTJ7gcs8A

  • Comment number 71.

    As the headline of this thread gets top billing, it seems worthy of inclusion here:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/lebanon/8144429/BBC-pulls-series-as-Hizbollah-protests.html

    It will of course be interesting to discover what aspects of news reporting lead to such diligent introspection, and which just get punted out as the whim fancies across the totality of the BBC's output.

  • Comment number 72.

    Where does "Children in Need" lie politically?
    Is it politically neutral to organize a charity event and according to your opinion should there be more/less/none of these events on the BBC?

  • Comment number 73.

    On the companion summary description for a sister blog to this, I note the following:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/11/fifa_football_panorama.html

    'Welcome to The Editors, a site where we, editors from across BBC News, will share our dilemmas and issues. Here are tips on taking part, but to join in, all you need do is add a comment.

    However, in the spirit of taking part, this has proven rather difficult:

    'Due to legal sensitivities, comments are closed on this post.'

    Sadly, these 'legal sensitivities' were not amplified upon. Nor, of course, was there any opportunity, there at least, to ask for clarification.

    Appreciating that many questions have been posed, which may explain why none have had the promised answers as yet, might one enquire as what would be more sensitive here to reader response than the unpredictable commentary that can transpire anywhere else across the pre-moderated BBC blog network.

    If seeking broadcast-only outlets there are already plenty without using a blog and then switching off the response system, no matter how valid the fear that it may, again, be adverse.

  • Comment number 74.

    In view of the following:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-accuracy-introduction

    '... if an issue is controversial, relevant opinions as well as facts may need to be considered. When necessary, all the relevant facts and information should also be weighed to get at the truth.'

    Is there any view on recent outings of interviewees who seem keen to promote certain views with which editorial is keen to empathise (either for 'breaking news' ratings obsession or narrative complement) without much by way of professional checking on background?

    For instance the LibDem MP who wasn't, or innocent student cuts protestor who now seems more of a professional stirrer. Well, in his league.

    Looking forward to the promised answers... eventually.

  • Comment number 75.

    A whole new body of folk, mostly previously quite content with editorial, have suddenly become less than thrilled with 'standards' and especially seem frustrated by modding policies, lack of responses, etc...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/12/interview_with_jody_mcintyre.html?

    In many ways, ironic.

    Also telling that there is a view, not altogether unfounded in fact, that stories should be and indeed get driven by levels of public input via blogs or twitter. 700 seems the current view. Out of 60M not exactly representative.

    Also one does wonder how well one is served by the totality of the story and context in the rush to throw up instantly-available opinion over more considered fact.

    I can serve the news agenda, but also can serve to blow back. The average of two extremes is, of course, not 'balance'.

  • Comment number 76.

    #72. At 10:26am on 21 Nov 2010, _marko wrote:

    "Where does "Children in Need" lie politically?
    Is it politically neutral to organize a charity event and according to your opinion should there be more/less/none of these events on the BBC?"


    For the BBC to set-up/organise a charity is probably not a problem within the confines of the BBC's charter (if it was then I suspect that the existence of CIN would have been challenged long ago), any problem may come from how the BBC promotes CIN - that is - in excess to any other charity of a similar cause received BBC transmission time.

  • Comment number 77.

    #73. At 2:32pm on 30 Nov 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    "Sadly, these 'legal sensitivities' were not amplified upon. Nor, of course, was there any opportunity, there at least, to ask for clarification."

    Unless one has been living in a vacuum for the last few months most people will have understood what the legal issues were and still are.

    "If seeking broadcast-only outlets there are already plenty without using a blog and then switching off the response system, no matter how valid the fear that it may, again, be adverse."

    Blogs, by definition, do not need to be 'two-way', only current convention suggests that they are, simply because most blogs do allow comment.

    I say the above whilst acknowledging my own user name, and as such, sorry "JunkkMale" I really am struggling to understand what point you were attempting to make!

  • Comment number 78.

    77. At 11:36am on 16 Dec 2010, TV Licence fee payer against BBC censorship wrote:

    Finally... a new name in this little discussion backwater. Welcome. Don't you find it surprising that, with all that rages around (especially the related 'The Editors' blog), this rather pertinent thread seems so sidelined and unaddressed?

    'I say the above whilst acknowledging my own user name, and as such, sorry "JunkkMale" I really am struggling to understand what point you were attempting to make!

    No need to apologise. And certainly not for user names. They serve certain purposes, but some do seem to obsess about them more than they warrant. As you have raised it, for instance, I was initially trying to discern if you were against censorship of the BBC or by it, to help put things in proper context.

    However, I will attempt to assist with your struggles in comprehension, though regret to say there is also the slightest suspicion that it may be in vain, if only on a 'none so deaf' basis.

    Unless one has been living in a vacuum for the last few months most people will have understood what the legal issues were and still are.

    When it comes to the output of a national broadcast news entity, the presumption of 'most people', by many, can be a rather interesting call. Even on a simple journalistic basis, it can be a slippery slope to presume too much in framing a story. In this case, a few issues spring to mind.

    First being the resort to an interactive blog to essentially broadcast only.

    Having done so, then excusing this with a vague referral. It surely could not have hurt to more fully explain what these sensitivities were, and/or take the opportunity to show the constraints some media can labour under, especially when they become the story? As the Jody MacIntyre thread proved, this can create its own subset of issues, possibly not best addressed by broadcasting but then staying mute, and finally closing down with no further interaction.

    There are, of course, some legitimate areas of discussion, that were not possible in this case, around how some media, and often on erratic basis, suddenly feel unable to discuss various news issues on a timely basis, if at all. Editorial by omission is a hot topic in many areas these days.

    Blogs, by definition, do not need to be 'two-way', only current convention suggests that they are, simply because most blogs do allow comment.

    I was not aware there was a 'definition' of a blog, but if you say so. Not really sure this is a matter solved using semantics. Again, it boils down to frustrated expectations borne of variable delivery. 'The Editors' blog is usually interactive, but on occasion becomes not, it appears, when the matter for discussion is deemed a bit hairy. Perhaps I was confused by '..to join in, all you need do is add a comment..', and hence in turn struggle to grasp your point.

    Having gone to the linked section (closed in 2007), I do note the following....

    'It will feature contributions from BBC editors, along with your comments and questions....'

    '...this site is a public space where you can engage with us as much as the medium allows. We're happy for you to criticise the BBC in your e-mails and comments, and to ask serious, probing questions of us - *we'll do our best to respond to them.'

    'We aim to include as many comments as we can...'


    No obvious mention that the threads may be used to post and bail to the bunker.

    Speaking of which, any commentary on the many other substantive issues raised above, *but as yet remaining unanswered?

    '42. At 10:50am on 19 Oct 2010, DavidJordan wrote:
    Thank you for all your many and varied comments about BBC output and the new Editorial Guidelines. I am going to respond to comments on the Guidelines, which was the subject of my blog. '








  • Comment number 79.

    What in the world? Fact is, guidelines are fraudulent documents... global dimming, 7/7 bombings, vile viruses, 9/11… and how come that wikileaks lack most interesting years… not a tear... postponing the inevitable.

    Failure after failure after failure…
    & surprise with the number of thoughts in pointless discussion.

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm unable to keep tabs on the BBC's editorial policy and associated guidelines, does anybody in the BBC understand in hwich direction guidelines will go? Will the BBC become an organisation that while exercising some kind of restraint, is able to voice the opinions and views of the British public?

  • Comment number 81.

    The BBC,s current policy seems to be to ignore and censor license fee payers complaints and comments , is this from embaressment or guilt or just arrogance , who knows all i can say is the sky f1 deal is a farce and so is the BBC treatment of its income base , im currently trying to have all BBC content blocked on my Virgin media account so i can cancel my licence fee.

 

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