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July 19, 2007

Compromised: "BBC's Values of Accuracy and Honesty"

BBC phone in falsehoods.jpe
A staffer poses as a winner on the BBC competition Comic Relief/Getty Images

You don't say. It couldn't be. The BBC was less than honest? BBC News reports:

The BBC has suspended all competitions after an inquiry unearthed a fresh batch of faked phone-ins.

Serious editorial breaches were found in six shows, including Comic Relief. Director general Mark Thompson said the incidents were "totally unacceptable".

Mr Thompson has outlined a "zero tolerance" approach to any future lapses in editorial judgement.

He also ordered an independent inquiry into footage that wrongly implied the Queen walked out of a photo session. . . .

The BBC Trust said it was "deeply concerned that significant failures of control and compliance within the BBC have compromised the BBC's values of accuracy and honesty".

In actuality, though, it seems that the talk show misrepresentations were right in line with BBC's history of lapses in accuracy and honesty.

And for more Comic Relief, BBC's Thompson states:

"There is no excuse for deception. I know the idea of deceiving the public would simply never occur to most people in the BBC.

"If you have a choice between deception and a programme going off air, let the programme go. It is far better to accept a production problem and make a clean breast to the public than to deceive."

If that policy were actually applied to the world news department, BBC's reporting on the Middle East would be very thin indeed.

Posted by TS at July 19, 2007 02:33 AM

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