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Read this: What next for the BBC after the Bashir scandal?

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What next for the BBC after the Bashir s…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I'm leaving is all and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 welcome official Martin Bashir use lies and deception to secure one of the biggest TV interviews of all time low Dyson's report as to how Diana Princess of Wales was lowered into telling all Panorama 1995 has raised questions for the entire Governance of today's BBC the prime minister says the BBC needs to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again, so the media show today.

I want to tackle this head on.

What is the relationship between a reporter and the editor when the government calls for tighter safe the BBC what does that actually look like I might the scandal of Martin bashir's methods result in changes across the whole of journalism.

Let me introduce my guess.

I've got Richard tait.

Former editor-in-chief of Etienne now a professor of journalism at Cardiff University Dorothy Byrne former head of news and current affairs at Channel 4 David yelland is editor of The Sun and now runs a PR firm kitchen table partners John where is an investigative reporter and fronted last week's Panorama on Martin Bashir and the sea and Jane martinson is professor of journalism at city college welcome to you all change.

You've been writing about this for the Guardian how do you assess the scale of the reaction to this story?

Scale of the reaction I mean you know this is was a devastating report for the BBC involved the royal family is involved in a terrible Handling of wrongdoing 25 years ago including members of the BBC he then went on to hold senior Jobs come on talk about a reporter who subsequently left and then return to the BBC just five years ago, so the timing is terrible BBC and I was older terrible for all of us you care about ethical journalism and Public Service Broadcasting the government has making secrets of wanting to be looking to be lots of comments from the prime minister of the cabinet ministers.

There's a PS3 review going on the BBC itself has got a mid-term and charter review.

Just been about to the relatively small issue of governance and looks like if you listen to sort of ministerial statements over the past few days to be bored and out with going to get a new conversation many reasons this is huge and I would argue no such a shame when we actually need to be busy with Toby Loveday when you know the prime minister's former right-hand man has just terribly a government handed the covid pandemic last year.

We need the BBC to be leading the reporting on that sorry.

I'm not dealing with I hear you.

We've got a lot to get to briefly one a bit of context for this because Richard Sharp chairman of the BBC's spoke to the world at One this Monday we got Tim Davie the DJ he was on the Today programme on Tuesday the both announce further internal investigations is fair to say that the BBC is in Crisis mode, but how does that?

Compare to BBC prices of of the past that's why I can't edit the different Jimmy Savile and Crisis Cliff Richard problems couple at the BBC when they believe in journalism where the end justifies the means that that has no place for in ethical journalism course we want the BBC's break story to be great journalism, but not when the means are unethical as it was found to be with this particular case so I think there are questions for the BBC and I think she's Davies interview particular where he talks about two points that actually won't dealt with by Dyson dc16.

Hiring why on earth was Martin Bashir brought back given the history and also the whistleblowing factor to me the terrible that point of this is that the only

Truly suffer at the time was the freelance designer who was asked simply to mock up a bank report that shocking allowed in a bit.

I wanted to mouth and really focus on the relationship between reporters and their editors and I want to look at the methods that report is used as well to gain trust from a source potential interviewees Martin editor was a coarse delay.

Steve Hewlett hooness.

Panorama career became the founding presenter of the media show that John where investigative journalist you been the Panorama office forever not quite forever, but you've been there for a long time were familiar with your work on screen.

Can you give percent of before you get to that point before the cameras are Rolling what are what is the work in the groundwork that has to be done and what are some of the tools that you use.

I mean if it's against criminals or it's about criminals or subterfuge is very very strict basis.

Obviously in this case the desks.

I just used really deceitful and the princess wasn't a criminal she was a young woman these days if you want to anything like that would would be I think very closely monitors.

I don't think it was in in 925.

I think I didn't have a producer to the extent that it was really Steve Hewlett the editor and obviously Steve and other things to do.

As well and so a producer wasn't brought into the process and to arrive at the last moment literally days before the interview itself and that was really just to handle the southern check the production of the interview that wouldn't happen today things have shifted David it's fucking ask you in again.

This is no historical context when you have the editor of The it in the 90s.

How much did you know about what your journalist were doing on a day-to-day basis and the Tactics they were using know that and I thought I knew I had a very good day.

Love you Grandad man who am I put in place because I've known him a long time and trusted him and I knew what was what was going on as an editor of any kind.

You never know where reporter has got a store in and and how they have.

Have gone about that.

I would say is that I think that there is a certain naivete BBC and a case to Martin which wouldn't have happened ugly and deeply in Fleet Street Fleet Street is is much better actually having suspicion about its own report as I certainly was asking questions of that tell me this if you had a particular at report that was was courting the source was going out for meeting.

Would you generally have known about the ins and outs of those meetings? I think look there's no doubt that this area the 90s was the wild west.

It's completely different now.

There is much more government the irony of this is that the government's changes which the government the BBC to adopt they have already adopted they he's already in place and it's the same as an intern in newspapers.

I mean you know partly because of levison of other things and the decline.

Are those papers the kind of things that was on then? We'd not go on now, and I also think it's important perhaps not to defend Martin Bashir I don't know Martin Bashir but I do have somebody with somebody where the entire world turns against them and that and that is what has happened to Martin last few days.

It's important to remember that the country of them was very different you know when a junior position.

I I hasten to add when Calvin was still editing mummy has squeegee Gates which was the the taper to the tape between Princess Diana and James gilbey which is just a few years before this.

We will they were all kinds of all kinds of is going on there and it also what is not you no never really remembered is that the Cambridge Made Estate

Quite understandable, what would be picky perhaps doesn't understand is that his mother was using a number of journalists including Andrew Morton as we know what other others as well and his father was very close to people at the sun or people close to his father because people and Camilla unisa Stuart Higgins my predecessor at the sun had a lot from that side of things particularly camera and playing that game and so when she did what she did the Princess of the greater to be interviewed you seen in the context of that was going on between those two side of course.

That's really useful what I don't want to do is go down the path of everyone was doing it because we know what I was doing and Dorothy as a former head of news and current affairs at Channel 4 how much?

Expect your editors to know about what journalists were doing and what does that extend to does it extend two things you didn't know about their phone calls didn't know about the emails that sending well with a story of the profile of this one.

I would expect the editor and the producer to be across all the details this wasn't just any other story this was an exceptional and extraordinary story so I am assuming that give you a very clever man you a lot about what Martin Bashir was doing he's not in a position now to tell us how much she did know but you would know definitely you would know a lot of detail Richard can I bring you in the X I know you're wearing two hats for us today, so I want to start off with you wearing your format.

ITN hat in that role, did you ever involve yourself in discussions between journalists and saucers and interviewees know and I think the system was based on delegating that responsibility to the Editors of different services the service Dorothy Channel 4 is 140 TV that's 5 and essentially there's a lot of trust in journalism and what happened with this year was a very successful and disgraceful deception is editor or under his management and I think it's quite interesting that this is a story of Doris right.

This is Droitwich had the potential get really badly wrong from the beginning and clearly with the better of the hindsight.

I dream of people judgements t-shirt.

He was a very good editor.

He made the wrong call which is he thought that he could supervise it the early stages of the of the project and

By the end of the project you look something like John Birch memoirs half ABC management Is Crawling all over it because of course there are other issue was whether they could transmit given that the chairman was married to the Queen's lady in waiting of course this there's a lot of knots in this story David I want to know from your perspective you talking about your relationship with journalist working for you at the sun.

Did you ever get to the point of turning down a story because they were question marks or that how access said I've been gained.

Oh yes many times well more than 5 times in 5 years.

I mean without without labelling anyone.

Can you give us a notion of context? I think I know this is well.

I can answer that by saying this I think sets of culture and you know you you have to be prepared to be unpopular and I was.

Popular within my own Newsroom quite conservative after having had my fingers bands in the first year and now and you to give you look very well done you I would like him and go on well with him, but I do think it's important to say that that the politics within Panorama have always been toxic everybody in fact.

There are two big cocks institutions hear the royal family and the to clash in all went wrong and I think there is a just something went wrong at panel, which should net you know it doesn't surprise me John because you winced when David just said that the Panorama is top that you went.

Why did you went? Well? I did it was compendium.

It was quite gossipy.

I mean how to see now then somewhere.

It's got a healthy thing.

A few toxic elements, but I don't think it's a different places to go in there is much these days, but but but to the extent that such as there was away so back it back internet.

Would you say it was toxic back back then John was lively lively.

It was fine.

Ok, so the reporter editor relationship appreciate that context but we know that the mechanisms in Play Here further the BBC that failed to stop what happened from happening Rich it's up to you.

Would you would you rather hat on now you ABC governor appointed in two thousand?

Give us a sense of that role was about and at what stage of the BBC's journalism.

Would you have got involved well, what happened in 1995 was under the Old governor system when I giving the governors what on my way heart lodger cos they made a hash of the of the happened affair with another case of a of a story that went wrong and so we appointed.

We're appointed to run a new system of governance called the trust and what happened there if there had been a complaint it would be not judged only by the BBC's own internal staff was happening with the BBC were mocking their own homework essentially the complaints of being held and investigated inside the BBC the trustees were meant to be independent the BBC they were non-executives and

Is an editorial standards committee and we employed outside investigators, they could be compliance experts.

They could be Media lawyers.

They could be experienced former editors and was serious complaint.

They would investigate those complaints to BBC they took the complainant and they give a report to us and then we would decide what we thought about it.

Will the game was that if the editorial standards committee said it was wrong that was the end of the discussion BBC at accepted BBC started like that very much and say but the authority of the trust was that we could applies to BBC to make another apology we can oblige them to change the way they doing things and it was a system that didn't work have lots of other problems and it was in shut down in 2016 if I can ask you this specifically with your knowledge of the BBC governance and the kind of air.

Carnations, it's been through was there any your mind any point where the processes in place would have stopped the the Diana Panorama actually going out with the processes of stopped.

Yes, I think they would I think that in the case of of the trust the was an editorial standards system run at the top of the BBC which was chaired by Mark Byford which I think would have meant but it had a problem like this begun to emerge might been taken away from the line management, but I am not I had said not certain.

I think I think the fundamental problem.

Is that when things go this badly wrong? It's very hard organisations or they need some sort of external intervention to see how things are really really happening and I think no way what's going on at present is a good.

How the new system is stronger because what's going on now as I understand it that the chairman has asked the the new BBC boards editorial standards committee which has got a very strong editorial figures on it on holidays and Robbie Gibb the last them to look into things like how can the government be improved completely supplying be sorted out if I can respond to someone to bring the second but with this new oversight body at what point do you think that new body will risk kind of meddling and actual journalism is that is that a concern for you.

There's a huge problem here which is that almost all our systems are about post transmission1 something's gone wrong.

How do you investigate and put it right and there's a real problem with intervening too early because the danger is that the complaint can be?

The temple stop the programme going out so I don't think there's an easy solution to this is not a genuine ordering.

Tell me what's your take on this? Yeah, I would agree with that actually just on the on the previous thing about we should point out.

See you later at the Dyson report cleared Steve Hewlett said there wasn't evidence and actually I think to David's point as well talking about the 90s being a wild West Street David but you will I know that phone hacking for example.

When is a great story I report it comes in with a great story actually what happens and it's exactly what happened.

Here is a lot people in authority should have been the boss of Martin didn't want to ask questions because it was a great story.

She didn't amazing interview it was he won awards.

So you know look at phone hacking.

I mean how many how many editors defended themselves by saying we never knew so anyway, I would just like to say that I think this is a culture of journalism.

The great escape actually most people as a human Desire not to ask a question which is where we get to regulation and Richard Wright this is such a difficult question because you want Tim Davies said he wanted brave and confident that's what it should be and the last thing you want is for doubt worry about the ramifications to stop transmission on the other hand the idea that these things were fate in order to get her to agree to the interview is terrible you need to talk about the culture of Dorothy do you think there is a new form of BBC governance that you can imagine that that could have stopped Martin Bashir and with your former roles as head of news and current affairs at Channel 4.

Do you think this is something that should just reply to the BBC or do you think there needs to be something that kind of applies?

Across broadcasters maybe with the power of Ofcom at the time of these events as Richard does the BBC was regulated at sell the BBC is now regulated by Ofcom which I think is an excellent regulator and all other broadcasters are regulated by Ofcom we don't know if this would have been prevented if there had been a proper system of regulation then but there wasn't what I'm sure about is that we do need extra committees of brake blocks no offence meant to those I can see here all sitting room a panning.

We need strong independent journalism and it mistakes and made they need to be remedied.

Quickly as possible you know one of the scandals here with it.

It's taken so long for the truth to be admitted by the BBC not actually for the true you come out because we've known the the key points here so I have heard people call for some massive new regulatory framework, but I'm not sure that that is what we need.

Thank you John you John the Frontline with this absolutely is there a concerned that a new form of governing could end up meddling with your day today work.

I mean honestly armchair critics pine about values from there of the officers like Charles Moore who described.

You said there was a systemic problem in BBC editorial policy is simply not let me explain the assault course you go through to get almost anything on you've got safeguarding trust you got safeguarding safeguarding policy you got risk assessment forms.

You've got a minister.

God.

You know if you want to and when it comes to the really important subdiffusion secret recording and song quite rightly quite rightly.

It's a hell of a joke to get authority for that.

You're still in reams and reams and reams sorry.

This is so closely scrutinized Cheylesmore and there's no they have no idea.

What is actually like getting a program together in the BBC the one thing I would say I think the BBC is wrong and complacent mean.

And he was an extremely calculating cannot underestimate the extent to which this guy was you know I mean really in a in a very considered calculating psychologically targeted way step-by-step.

I mean it was very very insidious Bedford know where she is still tends to be too defensive when criticism is there an interesting thing I've ever seen all the panelist nodding so much.

It is worth pointing out this year did say but obviously I regret what I did.

It was wrong.

He says it had no bearing on anything that meaning Dieter going on to do Dooley interview to wrap up in a moment but just

Zoomer even further and talk about the effects of this whole affair on the broader industry David do you think that is any kind of reckoning here? Do you think journalist? What side of the BBC I thinking about conductor thinking about ethics I think about how this might affect their work.

I don't think they are now.

I think John's just touched on the heart of this which is the ideological commercial agenda against the BBC in the printing press which is always been there.

I do myself and this is what is driving this all the calls me now the government which is made up.

No Boris Johnson Michael Gove and others who are part of that world themselves, so the BBC is in peril, but it is extremely well LED under Tim Davie and I think they will they will get through this and they need to we need to it was actually on the BBC at the moment.

You know there isn't a problem with the BBC journalism.

This is an old story.

There is no current problem.

Nothing that needs can I get your take on that do you agree with that but of course we have a prime minister leading the country was a known liar so probably be more worried about that record shop.

We should not use this as an excuse to bash the BBC because all the BBC isn't big enough brilliant journal.

We are that is that is so great note on which to end we are out of time to Dorothy Byrne to Richard Jane martinson.

David yelland and John Wayne thank you all for your time today.

You have been listening to the media show I haven't been as I'll have a great weekend.


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Comments
Thursday, 3 June 2021
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Barrie Wheatley
4:03 PM

Why does the above story not read right. Whoever wrote it should edit it before it is published surely?

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Barrie Wheatley's 1 post GB
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StevensOnln1
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

4:29 PM

Barrie Wheatley : It's a podcast which has been fed through some text-to-speech software and posted here automatically.

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StevensOnln1's 3,047 posts GB

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