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Read this: The Great Impartiality Debate

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The Great Impartiality Debate…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello and special longer edition of the media show after the last week we felt we need an hour to talk about Gary Lineker and the BBC and all of the questions this story has raised about impartiality politics and leadership will also be joined by the BBC's head of editorial policy David Jordan former culture secretary and Conservative MP John whittingdale Baroness Tina Stowell chair of the House of Lords communications committee and Bradshaw he was labour's culture secretary in Gordon Brown's government and politics is crucial to this because it ties into why Tim Davie made impartiality of priority when?

Who director-general in 2020 because the BBC was accused particularly over brexit of being out of touch with audiences and Tim Davie argued as a publicly funded organisation the BBC must represent the voices and of everyone so he put impartiality at the heart of his strategy, but that decision letter claims.

He's bound to physical pressure from those you say Many of the loudest voices attacking the BBC have been in the government and this is watching David did they were already rules in place for BBC journalists, but in 2020 new social media guidance was introduced and it said those who aren't journalist or involved in fact programming have an additional responsibility to the BBC because of their profile on the BBC it went on these people must avoid taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.

Take care when addressing public policy matters that was 2020 this Monday having pulled Gary Lineker affair for a breach of the guidelines the BBC then recognised the

Confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC's social media guidance and said Gary Lineker would be back on here this weekend going to start getting the perspective of people both from inside and outside the BBC the people who had to put impartiality into practice John Simpson James O'Brien and Wishlist shot in what I think is your first interview since you stop presenting the world tonight to ask you to quote Andrew Marr getting your voice back so I am working at finding my voice.

I think if you cut me and half.

You'd find that word impartiality almost threw me like a stick of rock and if you'd like you've had that opinion chip taken out of you and I think it's a process.

I'm gonna come back.

I have loads of opinions.

I don't you go into journalism unless you care about things I care passionately about lots of things but I've learnt to sit on my hands.

I'm not always my proud of that we can talk about that later.

So it's going to take a while.

Have you got a sense at all of what you might start showing your opinions about first? I think it's been a very very big part of my life and it's it's difficult not to speak out about issues that you care about and especially since the advent of social media.

There is a form on which you could express your views, but you can't and I think when things affect you directly it's it sometimes they can be what I would say is the sin of Omission by not saying something you've almost expressed an opinion.

I like to put out the opinions that I feel it's it's right for me to put out so I feel really strongly about.

Human rights for instance and I always try to tweet in particular about that.

I don't have any problems.

I've never had any problems with the BBC over that and the other thing I like to support the BBC in the travels with governments because it's so easy for governments and you got people and noticed some going to be talking to me.

You've Been part of governments which tried to monster the BBC down there very best sometimes rather successfully and I feel it's my job to uphold the kind of principles are all of the BBC and sometimes.

I'm sure the boss is wince a bit but I haven't had any problems about.

They're trying to muscle me know and I'm interested John that you use the word traditional James O'Brien from LBC do you think that the BBC's approached impartiality is not just traditional but perhaps out of date.

I worry that the world is incredibly different from the one that but the recent has never mind the one that we were in 10 or 15 years ago and I worry that impossible in the context of the BBC seems to have more to do with the volume of the complainer than the validity of the complaint.

I think of this week has taught us anything.

It's that there are at least three standards in Play across the nature of complaining about prominent presenters and something John said stop me as well as you pick up on us with the word traditional with an operating a we're not in space.

We're on a pitch and that pitch has parameters that have been long subscribe to for example the European Convention of Human Rights that hasn't previously been debatable that hasn't been something.

You off politicising by suggesting we shouldn't become a country that is alongside Russia and Belarus that that was a sort of universally accepted good.

That's up for grabs now.

That's open to debate now so the notion of traditional values which the BBC traditionally upholds is under threat you know whether novel by the BBC as I understand it not quite I couldn't but I never had any complaints about what I did on the BBC apart from from a daisy and Jeremy Corbyn oddly enough, but it was a tourist complaining constantly about what I do on a reminder on LBC that made it just unfair on editors at us like to be constantly fighting Fire coming in from most of the characters in a new understanding the Gary Lineker stories.

He doesn't work in news and sport and that's different but I used suggesting that BBC News journalists shouldn't have to follow the kind of impartiality Rules

I'm just I'm just pointing out the impossibility isn't a vacuum for there are there are limits as the Old adage about shouting fire in a crowded Theatre there.

It's not an untrammelled freedom and similarly as untrammelled impartiality broadcasting the issues arising from your social media activity and as such Riddler do you think I actually would be helpful if the BBC said when you're doing work for us? It's it's within the rules but if you're doing things elsewhere carry on and you've got to do an interview.

Let's take violence against women clearly have a woman.

It's something I feel really strongly about like them so many other people do women and men and if you're going to come out and position on whether or not you think the Metropolitan Police behaved properly in a particular situation and the same day you are interviewing the Metropolitan Police

What does the listener make then of your interviewing style of the biases that you're bringing to the interview now? I'm not suggesting that I don't have any biases of course I do but I always seem impartiality as being dispassionate in a particular situation so trying to understand the other side.

It doesn't necessarily give it the same weight but trying to see both sides of any situation and I think it is much harder to do that with the audience is confidence if they know what actually what he really thinks is in the police whatever happens today.

I think that is difficult to bring you in here and ask what you think you're really talked about the audiences expectations.

What do you think? They wouldn't send expectations are formed and is it different from the Expectations audiences have another broadcast as well that makes it absolutely essential.

To be impartial and balance if everybody in the country, is is paying in everybody who should pay into the licence fee does so they've got the right to expect not not that the BBC will support their views, but that they'll be fair about the views and I think it's that the essence of furnace which is really really at that at the heart of all these people that the people you broadcast I've got a feeling that you're you're being fair to um.

I don't know that it goes there's much more to be said that really there are subjects that we now don't believe requiring partiality for example climate change or racism absolutely but I don't think you should have a bit in the context of climate change and broadcast mocking news.

Switch which try to humiliate people that don't agree with the consensus but at the same time.

I think if he is a clear consensus among circle years about climate change them that of course we've got to broadcast from that standpoint.

It's just a question.

I think of really but that we're not ruling out different fusion not telling people what to think and that it's not easy to do that much easier.

Just take a line on Fawcett through John Simpson you are here on this extended edition of the media shown along with the shower and James O'Brien and you talk about being fair to you all opinions fair to everyone who's paying for the BBC to extend as well to everyone who works for the BBC in a variety of capacities James O'Brien do you think the BBC was fair to Gary Lineker in the last 7 days? I mean I don't think she was.

Body in the last 7-days it wasn't fair to the people that aren't allowed to express opinions it seems to be ridiculous that sports broadcaster is held to the same account as he had with reading the news to reply to me some guidance not the same guy dances.

I might block he might be able to express a government policy and to be actually taken off air seems about a stringent as a punishment as you can receive so I have to go back briefly.

I don't see why it should be held to hire an EastEnders star as a member of the BBC start it is a sports broadcasting news and current affairs people.

I think there's a perfectly reasonable.

I'll give it the same none of them should be allowed on on social media of knowledge about any form of political opinion on social media but sports broadcasters to come in but just before you do John Simpson do you think that actually this would be easier if everyone?

BBC News just got off social media probably would be but that's not going to happen at least I don't suppose it's going to have to Coney and listening to say that because a sports presenter made clear what his position was on a one particular issue, nobody gets to speak about anything ever again and I know just hope it doesn't have rather let the standards as a news presenter and the guidelines suggest that ultimately that is what happened and it feels like a mess at that point of the BBC's own making you've got to be consistent in how you approached.

To give that latitude why single at Gary Lineker well, the answer is this man is a very very high profile presenter.

Who has a huge number of followers on on social media which came first the profile of the footballer of a profile of the Match of the Day presenter and I think that's a rather complicated area where we're going to hear from the BBC in a few minutes away on the media show but John Simpson screen with littlest characterisation of the last week has been a mess of the BBC's making to be honest.

I think Gary Lineker help to buy I mean he must have known that this was these issues which way we're going to be tricky.

You know a lot of people will support exactly what he said about about refugees no question about

You spoke for a very large number of people but whether it was a good idea to have spoken about it.

I I I don't I wouldn't have done that.

I wouldn't have done it in the way I would have found other ways of expressing it if I if I had been him but yes I mean you no it doesn't look good.

It's really difficult and embarrassing.

I just think it was fantastic own golf as I understand it the government itself never said anything to the BBC about it never put any private pressure on it or anything that's what I've I've understood, but you know we're in a different.

We've got a slightly different government the Rishi Sunak government is not the Boris Johnson government.

It's not looking to throw read me to it.

Wing supporters it doesn't feel well necessities try to trample all over the BBC so I don't think it was something we did to ourselves within ourselves a number MPs and peers as I understand it who signed a letter of getting to to the tweets objecting to Gary Lineker's comments it does appear that there are MPs and it has a problem only have the right it's happened on the left before now as well.

That's and all the different different circumstances, but it does appear that there are MPs willing to turn listen to some kind of Culture war to use these issues as a way to I don't know attack the BBC does it in hindsight make it look like it was a mistake of the director-general Tim Davie to make in past so much at the heart of his programme.

Look as I say I still sort of work for the BBC I'm not on there anymore, but what I will says.

I think the problem is that impartiality Butterly

When I started working for BBC at the end of the 80s it was understood you just kept my mouth shut and you did your job impartiality Innocence has been weaponized and by choosing to make it so central could be interpreted as seeing the adoption of an agenda.

That was pushed by a particular group of politicians implicit Lee it suggest that the BBC was not impartial and I would say to the BP on my route to the same mistake was believing other line personality.

That's been planted by people like the Daily Mail Paul Dacre was pleased with the BBC's treatment of brexit which in my mind means that BBC News exams should have been resigning in disgrace at the idea of the editor of BBC coverage of one Storey coverage one story obviously doesn't approve unbiased reporting that much is clear and by the time 2019 2020 came around the collapse in brexit.

The obvious failure of brexit men that people without somehow keys in the BBC having been impossible on the Sunday when they been anything but so Tim Davie comes in promising to fix an impossibility problem and he's brexit for example in the clearly doesn't exist John Simpson just before we bring in David Jordan from the BBC do you agree with red leather impartiality has been weaponized Against The Corporation everything is where can I buy somebody in politics? I've worked for the BBC since 1966 the day.

I joined people were starting to talk about Harold Wilson imposing a new chairman on the BBC in to get rid of the Liberal director-general of the time and that have absolutely happened in the end constantly all through my

5 whatever, it is years with the BBC governments have tried to do their bit to control it and make it say what the government of the day wants it to say I don't know that that's such a terrible thing as long as the BBC is strong enough and self confident enough to stand up and say what's this don't tell me to do this.

I know what I want to do it.

So that's what I mean about getting back well suppose we got it here from to form of CO2 secretaries in the next few minutes here on the media Show James O'Brien John Simpson British are you going to stay with us here in this is an extended edition of the media shown as we discussed the many questions raised raised by the BBC's handling Gary Lineker's tweet last week and as promised we're going to hear from the BBC now by David Jordan BBC you listening to what those.

Big beasts where at were saying if it's alright to describe you and that way I mean it's not an understatement.

Is it to say it's been a really difficult week for the BBC what went wrong the director-general has made that clear enough of course.

It's difficult if you have a major dispute in which the BBC is centre of the major this particular political dispute and of course it's difficult if you think you're supposed to be broadcasting and audiences such as a consequence if something goes without saying that that's the definition of difficulty for the BBC so yes, it's been difficult to remind you know this is not the first time of the BBC's been embroiled in discussions debates and and difficulties about impartiality over.

It's many years of history and it's not unusual as he also said for governments try to influence on the BBC says that happens in my experience as a former editor of political programmes from both sides of the political divide I can assure you that the people at Millbank on the receiving end.

Really loud telephone calls from Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson when you leave it was in office and they're on the receiving end it actually less loud conversations from from from from current from current politicians up with Match of the Day been speaking to the media show back in 2021.

I just before we here at this was after Tim Davies new guidelines have been introduced.

I've never had any phone calls from the day when he came in conversations with Tim Davie since he's been in but he never called me and said you can't talk about that you can't delete all on my own person that Gary Lineker after the guidelines were announced saying you can't tell me what to tweet which doesn't appear to be in line with the guidelines.

Why did the BBC not?

A long time ago, I'm sure they'll be lots of conversations with Gary Lineker and all sorts of other presenters about about the use of social media under that guidance under those guidelines and you recall they're not that very long ago.

There was not Hill complaint about something that Gary Lineker tweeted out as as a presenter of the BBC so so I'm Gary Lineker new and the Old presenters know everybody working for the BBC knows that there's a set of editorial guidelines and beneath those that's a set of social media guidance might have known and we can't confirm that is you not able to take part in this program, but Tim Davies spoke to MPs a year after that interview in described Gary Lineker's use of social media and where the line is drawn as a work in progress, which was the BBC publicly admitted that it's guidelines.

It wasn't sure if it's guidelines can be followed by one of its biggest stars but I was important to conversations, but that sounds like conversations with taking place.

Doesn't it? Cos if there was a work in progress?

Was 2 years after the guidelines were announced guidelines on the director generals number one priority, please for the lot of people a lot of the time and usually these things to sort it out in private individuals a tweet appears.

Somebody thinks that's not really very appropriate for that particular individual that conversation takes place about that that would be the case of yours James when he was presenting Newsnight it will be the case with other people who work for the BBC every time you have a civilised conversation about it sometimes those things come down sometimes those things have just agree with that won't happen again and and the temples made to implement the guidance of the guidelines will be having that kind of away.

It's unfortunate but in this case it not become a bit public round but that's because the intervention was into a big political the toxicological today.

What do you think the problem is with the guidelines at the moment under review now, but where do you think you're going to get to even get to position we have to

There are some rules for most people or a rules for most people and then some people just don't have the same rules apply to them.


I can't tell you that now because clearly you're beautiful is that instead of a review title to address precisely that question and the reason why we have a review is to look at that sort of question the two big questions that seems to me if you look at the guidance and you read the guns which is quite frankly commented on this this debate haven't done but if you read the guidance CLC essentially there are two issues one who does it apply to receive that's the question should have a Mitre Sports in exactly the same way as it applies to you and to identify the news presenters and secondly, what should apply.

What are the rules are applying the circumstances and if you read the guidance you find that there are very different once applied to what we call music called a journalist and factual journalist from other people who work for the BBC and then there is no worries at all for some sort of people who do things for the BBC

Dramatist selectors and saunas open so it is very much depends and up to now and this is not the prescription for the future because a review or decide that up to now the she was being to what extent is the person concern identified with the BBC that's the that's the same leaving aside news and current affairs presenters and reporters and Correspondents you're covered by very strict guidelines is the two principles been applied as to what extent somebody identified unrealistic doesn't it in the area that were in at the moment that you can have a freelancer for him in a your social medias are really big deal really big part of who you are and your profile and perhaps they just have to have written into their contracted.

It's ok for them to break the guidelines for guidance and that's what I mean questions like that which are really subtle and difficult questions.

I mean do you have for example different rules at time of elections from the rules that you have other times are all kinds of factors that enter into this particular people get into.

Politics and contentions of the most high-profile policy around 23 years after that policy was already review reviewing something that was previously reviewed not very long ago which doesn't look like the first step it was particularly well done and I'm not sure about that but look things move on the that you so I was in addition to the theatre.

Got a rather my team has under my jurisdiction as it were Aaron and in the first one.

There was no social media and the second was socially doing that that many years apart from things are moving very very fast in the digital media and so to have another look at something which may or may not be appropriate and things having moved on seems to me to be quite sensible have been claims of course of overt political influence on the BBC what is your take on that well if you mean and John refer to this earlier if you mean did people bring up the director-general say what the hell you doing got to do change it from the government know there was no over there was no answer.

All the other political intervention you can read newspapers and exactly the same as I can you use politicians Express opinions they do that all the times that they're entitled to someone who knows better than almost anyone what station is Andrew Marr for the political editor of BBC News is on a few hours after James on LBC and there's a video going around on social media payment on his show saying it's clear the BBC reacts to comments and opinions coming from the left of the political spectrum more than it does to the right he suggesting there is not consistency across the political spectrum.

He would know would need that we react more to choose from the less than we do the right that you've applied one response to Gary Lineker to in a way that you wouldn't say to people doing a lot.

That's not a situation.

I recognise my retrial we will arrange with Alan Sugar and this is about identification very very restrained you would have noticed recently because he's presenting The Apprentice at the present time.

He voluntarily constraints himself on social media when he's very identify the BBC presenter of The Apprentice or just before that just after that the rest of time is free to say as a business person what he wants to know before you change the guidance talking about clouds from both ends of the of the spectrum to talk about the count of the people doing the complaining.

I personally more worried about newspapers frightening BBC news about politicians and it's a lot of the person that complaining about which is why you talk about being identified with the BBC that's always going to be subject.

It was always going to be in the eyes of beholder.

Is it is it linked to the size of your Twitter following is it linked to the size of the audience program that you're presenting was that link to the success you had in your career before you went into broadcasting.

I don't think that police.

There's a very good questions, which will probably be addressed by ever.

Independence usually in a situation like this with the BBC on the result BBC chairman would be wheeled out to give some support to the director general clearly that hasn't been possible at this point because he's embroiled in his own issues.

What's your taken all about? I don't have the take on the BBC German I'm afraid.

They are the music channels appointed by the public appointments process and goes to a political process.

That is not the BBC appointment.

We have no control over it whatsoever, so that would be that will be resolved outside of the BBC one.

Thank you very much my children editorial editorial policy at the BBC for the BBC's perspective and that's brilliant.

Thank you so much for coming on and let's look more worn out something was already been talking about the political dimension to all of this which centres on just how much influence the government actually has over the BBC and we can continue.

Play these issues on the media show let's have a listening to what the leader of the opposition Labour Party Keir starmer said at prime Minister's Questions earlier.

When people with links to the Tory Party find themselves in senior positions at the BBC it's important that they seem to be beyond reproach.

So how's the promise to receive the shore answers, but no one with links to the Tory party was lobby by Tory MPs or involved in the decision.

That's or Match of the Day affect cancelled your phone institution takes its obligations to impartiality seriously well, let's get into the political dimensions of this story with banners Tina stole conservative member of the House of Lords and chair of the Lords select committee also joined by John whittingdale, Conservative MP and the culture secretary twice over and we're joined by Ben Bradshaw who was labour Secretary of State for

Back in 2009 and 2010 that begin with you thanks for being with you been listening to this whole conversation.

Do you think there is a a strong political dime into this which needs acknowledging you open the show and referred back to Tim Davie making impartiality one of his top priorities on becoming director-general and associated that with a political a requirement for an agenda, because I think what is really important.

I am a Tory but my concern is about the possibility of the BBC as an institution to everybody it has to serve we can talk about the licence fee and the points that John Simpson made earlier if you like, but no licence fee.

This is a public institution and it's for it to remain viable going as the future.

To understand that it has to be accountable to everyone and I think that when I went in David became director-general around that time.

I think there was a period where to the whole of the relationship between some of our important public institutions in the UK started to realise that they were becoming somewhat divorced and distance from everybody that they've this deserves.

So I think this is absolutely critical that I don't think you should look at it through as a party political type.

I think you have to look at it through serving everybody and recognising that the one of the ways in which you do that is by showing as possible though looking at the reaction of the last 7-days North lot of people seeing this to a party political ends.

Points of the spectrum have sought to use this to advanced political agendas or indeed those who are not politicians, but engaging to political debate have done so but I do think that if you believe that there is a role for an institution like the BBC perform a lot of unifying force in the country and help to provide some national glue then you have to understand that part of the way in which it does that is why I'm staying out of these contentious issues and ensures that it doesn't take sides and provide a platform for Debate and for free speech, but it it is never on one side of the argument or the other and I think that is the bit that keeps getting mixed up as I say I really I think it's important.

I'm listening to everybody so far today.

This from very soon insular or very specific individuals in terms of their take and I do think you have to see this very much and institutional and clearly as you that is why Tim Davie has put impartiality and the heart of his program, but clearly to like to bring you in at this point form of culture secretary twice today as also been accused of Aaron to pressure on Gary Lineker because he was critical of a conservative policy.

I just wanted to ask you is there any truth to that? Do you think of any pressure that was put on Kim JB by the government over myself all my colleagues.

I'm in 10 day.

We set a few years ago and it was actually directed specifically because he was probably the most well-known BBC personality.

Political the timer guidance was so hard, so this was clearly a breach of the back garden, so I'm going to expect the government to it being but I'm not surprised that thought we had to call up Gary Lineker when it was such an obvious influence an indirect influence on the climate that created that ensure that potentially means that people are top of the BBC they say this isn't the case but they feel constantly Under Pressure by the climate created by the government and a bit more subtle.

The individual presenters have Gary Lineker and therefore subject to different roles to people of full-time employees and I thought that was something needed to be clarified and actually the charter requires the government to conduct a mid-term assessment of how the government structure is working and that has to be completed by 2024.

It's absolutely now is the time to take place and it seems to be a sensible time to consider that the questions but that was a more general issue about waiver rules working on the specific incident bringing one more person to speak with all of us Ben Bradshaw is here.

Who is the Secretary of State for culture under Gordon Brown and the 9 and 2010 and Ben Bradshaw one of the most Direct connections between politicians and the BBC is the fact that the chair of the BBC at the moment Richard Sharp is appointed by the

do you think that process needs to change in order to protect the BBC

Yes, I do when I think I think John that's you chose to select committee, which I was a member that made that recommendation are a including a recommendation as to how the BBC could be funded in future, so I think that would that would help I think there's a real problem that the Richard Sharpe issue has been a real problematic context for the BBC in all of this because whatever the facts the perception has been the BBC by to pressure.

You know about the Home Secretary attacking Gary Lineker you had Tory backbenchers calling for a full inquiry into what he had said so I would like to see a sister more like the German public service broadcaster system and where it is completely independent from government you don't get the BBC cards in looking over its shoulder, what we got government today might be saying we're doing I'm interested to quickly ask would you agree with that the system needs to change and I'm not convinced that to be honest with you.

I am it's ok for the government to appoint one of the most powerful people in the BBC well.

I mean I think that I mean Abby and I'm open to hearing of alternative ways of appointing the BBC chairman, but I've you look at Channel 4 for instance which is which is supposedly of a roll of by Ofcom that's not quite as straightforward as all that either and I just think that I'm not sure that there is a silver bullet and I think the critical thing is to not confuse the messenger with the message.

I think what is necessary is not to focus too much on somebody's party political associations, but whether the person who was appointed the chairman off at the BBC understands the importance of this institution being accountable to everybody which doesn't mean that it should swing from one side to the other in where it says.

Focuses or I'll try to correct itself, but actually that it addresses and and you know is respectful of everybody concerns about the current situations which are saying you should not you should you know looking to every last Detail of every single thing anyone has ever done.

They're talking about a man who donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to conservative and who was involved in putting Boris Johnson in touch with someone who might give them a loan at the same time at the process of being appointed was underway.

Not that I get that and I think that there is pretty sure.

I clearly house questions to answer.

He's there is an investigation going on and I think he's using a very very difficult situation not defending Richard Sharpe what I'm saying is that having gone through this appointment whatever whatever results from that investigation terms of his future.

But that should leave necessarily to changing the way in which the appointment at the BBC chamanisme, that's what I'm saying I'm not defending him and I'll bring you in here because you're clearly Richard shut up a perception problem if nothing else it the BBC says it's nothing to do with them because it's not appointed by them, but equally we have a situation where you know it said that he helped facilitate alone and set up this meeting between the person is going to sort out the guarantee and the head of the Civil Service it has called problems with the beauty and perception times for you.

Do you think that there needs to be a change to the way the government is in that appointment has been the case that those on the board of the BBC one before it's taken originally the gardeners then the trust and now the board can leeches jobana to former labour cabinet minister.

Who is vice chair of the BBC the BBC

Has no involvement in editorial contact it's the one objection.

I had was when James Purnell was made director of strategy within BBC management and that he had a direct input into editorial content decisions, but I don't think it is a matter of concern at the terminal Portsmouth political allegiances then leave that behind when I used to question.

I think I'll Chris Patten when he was chair of the BBC and everybody asleep wasn't Ben Bradshaw you were involved in this conversation.

This is John whittingdale, but right now if there was a Labour government.

What do you suggest the Labour Party should to change the current system and replace it with something else?

I think it should look very carefully at the excellent report that we put out on the select committee when John was it's chair and I was seeing a labour member system models rather than closer to the German Public Service Broadcasting system and the current one with the BBC arm's-length independent broadcasting commission doing the appointment but I also think the BBC needs to look at it the whole way it it's it looks impartiality given the modern social media age.

I don't think it's realistic to have such a restrictive rules for non news and current affairs broadcasters and I wish all the BBC I hope out of this crisis.

We just got as it's confidence and it's duty as John birt used to call it to explain and analyse because I think that's lacking on the BBC at the moment too many political news and current affairs journalist of frightened of analysing and explaining something because that inevitably might leave them to express of you now.

I think that's an important role.

BBC I think Channel 4 ITN and actually sky do it much better because they're journalist feel free to do that job with a tear on an extended edition of the media show with Katie razzall our guests also includes John whittingdale, Bowness Tina stolas was James O'Brien Twitter the shower and John Simpson and as you probably worked out with talking about the Fallout from the girl in the past week and of course I'm sitting next to you Rose I can bring in Kevin Backhurst who is Ofcom group director and a former BBC controller at welcome to media at this point Kevin and just give us your perspective was saying about the BBC you know in the in the current days weather in partiality works in in the form of that is at the moment on research with audiences that.

Highly value impartiality of the BBC and other public service broadcasters and regulated news broadcasters and therefore I think it's right that they should be discussed about this and the BBC needs to find a way to sort sort out.

What has been a pretty sorry week to the public care about impartiality is that your understanding that do they care about trust and the caravan in television news and raped in use and they they they also care that you know that sits at the heart of the British Media seen there's plenty alternative use in other parts of the media, but they know what they're getting when they tune into regulated news Henry radio TV and you're telling a yesterday then.

He's really strict rules for news presenters, but once you'll be on that questions of freedom of expression do become relevant the keyboard needs to work out how to draw the line, but isn't it was up to Ofcom to help the BBC

Yes that I think we've made it clear BBC where we are very available to input to the independent review of social media guidelines.

I think it is really important news and current affairs journalist have extremely strict rules on social media.

I think that's entirely proper.

I think there is an issue about the clarity of the social media guidelines beauty has for non news broadcasters particularly freelancers.

I think there's an issue frankly about how consistent the BBC has been over the years of it.

Had a reply does guidelines on the thing the review should look at how they apply them and also where they draw the line between freedom of expression for the range of people with the BBC and their duties on imports Ltd the impartiality is important Ofcom believes to the BBC's audiences.

Also Johnny is on the 16th edition of the movie shows Rasmus Nielsen director of the reuters Institute for the study of journalism Rasmus is also.

Political communication at the University of Oxford always good to have your the program.

Thanks for your time.

There are some people who have looked at the last week and said what if you look at the people who are upset.

What's happened to Gary Lineker's some of them put freedom of speech above impartiality and the need for it.

Whether it's a BBC journalist or BBC presenter in another capacity they say this is an idea which is out sync with the modern world.

What does your research show us on that and the majority in the UK One news organisation to practise in Barcelona and that's the key thing.

Isn't it? Not inside on particle disputes or divisive issues in our Society and I think a simple example is that very few people in the UK would expect.

Play BBC ordered any other Ofcom regulator broadcaster to necessarily put an apologist on a program to reflect the different view from a Bridge station or another but it is something that is a domestic issue in domestic politics or meaningful disagreements in British society like referendum or some of the discussions we have values in those cases people with respect to BBC Two deal fairly with all issue all sides of the issue and represent a range of different views and lots of people to make up their own Minds but Rasmus isn't it also true that we seeing increasing amounts of people saying there are some issues and in fact.

I've seen this with reference to refugees.

There are some issues on which there is no need to be impartial.

Is certainly the case I think that's entirely opinion for a citizen or somewhere else to hold in our research about a quarter of people in the UK so that there are some issues, which makes no sense to try to be neutral from the point of view of those who is the BBC which has to serve everybody and is paid for by virtue.

Is you know how do you find a reasonable division of labour between your role in the system and the role of Wales and when they are these calls for more clarity and greater moral of the day.

I think it's hard not to get the sense that none of the people mean by moral clarity by morality not yours and embrace that view of how long is on at the moment.

No, that's certainly the case.

It is entirely Justified to scrutinise whole organisation and mission of the BBC the practise at work this happens in every Saturday I think one of the things they think about the UK is that the UK as a large number of newspapers with the lyrics lyrics for a line and a large number of members of Parliament experience said that this may be considered newsworthy if they have strong opinions about the BBC the BBC to fight back against critics because it has to be impartial so just the last week or so, I can't more than three dozen newspaper front pages of this issue, and that is a little bit different from the context in many other countries.

There are fewer Direct attacks on the organisation and also the fuel politicians who take the bottom cells to to the duplicate to work on by Ofcom

Kelly McBride public editor and chair of the Craig newmark centre for ethics and leadership of the poynter Institute hello Kelly weapons and media show joining us from you what I think probably get through the Sports network ESPN how did they handle former sports stars as presenters clearly that something that we've been wrestling with for the last few days BBC if you wanted to pop stars presenters and analysts including whether you can take endorsements, what your whether you could express your personal news even without side contracts you can have.

Thanks of the truth and to impartially pursue the truth and then we're talking about the state of being interested in Andrews organisation in the state of the people behind the news ok, and we always think whether us Leeds we follow.

Do you think there is this generational divide talked about it, but younger John letter example expect to have their say have opinion be more opinionated and that that is just the way that we going and places like the BBC

That definitely is a pressure point and almost every American news from the murder of George Floyd by police officer and the movement for asking can we say or is that a violation of the impartiality standards and in most cases The Newsroom set a human of course you can that's not necessarily give money to the black lives matter LLC incorporation because that is a political organisation.

Form of BBC about to walk out the door.

You said you were shamed of being quiet, what what do you think is absolutely that issue where I can't pretend? I didn't care.

I'm telling you now have expressed an opinion, but very quiet about at the time because I've it became highly politicised and it remains highly politicised in this country and if you were going to do interviews within pins on that.

What does it mean? I've said what I think that I really struggled with my conscience and it has to be said some of my fellow presenters did say what they thought and there was a bit of me, that's what was I really Craven in not having the courage to speak up but I felt it was nice to keep quiet and James O'Brien is sitting next to wishlist are here in the media.

So studio.

Do you think that if the BBC continues to ask regular to do what she did in this case which was devised a time on something she felt very strongly.

In the end, it's journalism will feel less relevant less connected to the world.

It's existing in I think Ellie know that it is the difference between impossibility and objectivity The Pursuit of the truth.

You can argue can represent the opinion that there is an institutionalised racism that pretty much every level of British and American Society and it goes back decades.

If not centuries objectively you'll be on a hiding to nothing in the BBC requires you to teach to treat both sides of equal and opposite forces, so it's the perfect example of the problem, but I think he's just explained fit dividing Society now.

That's it within party lines and there are very important issues like racism that some groups will now campaign in a very divisive way and therefore it isn't possible to just say that because this is an important issue.

It's ok for presenters 2.

Because this stuff is life impartiality is getting more complex, but they need for it and the need for something like the BBC in order to maintain and uphold.

It is becoming greater the pressure is that is growing a and I think it would be a disaster if the BBC started to relax the opposite position to the contention that black lives matter of course black lives matter.

What is a group a a a a politically motivated group on an issue member of the group or is a movement which is called Black lives matter with a trick question.

But I just think the incredible cost that right if you don't let people stand up for human rights issues should be no Drive number of people out of the profession and then your ability to represent the diversity of viewpoints in your country is going to be in going to you're going to make you're going to make your your presenters, so homogeneous and vanilla that nobody is going to feel well.

We're approaching the end of our our here on the media show John Simpson BBC World affairs editor.

Let me bring you back and I wonder you seen the BBC in a few spots of over the years.

What do you think the last week adds up to will it seem significant in a while?

I suspect not terribly because it's not a case as I understand the BBC believed to be the biggest you that broadcasted face.

I'm a fundamentalist about all this.

I think it's absolutely essential that have a really tightly controlled tightly police that any right BBC Four people like me to have to stick absolutely clearly to the rules.

I just don't think that other right people to be setting the rules necessarily and certainly not going to the newspapers and talking publicly about the bbcso.

It's something that they wanted control and we could go on for another hour, but we can't cos I'm afraid our time is up and I want to thank everybody James O'Brien

John Simpson with Alicia and Baroness Tina Stowell as well as David Jordan from the BBC to John whittingdale, Ben Bradshaw Madness Nielsen Kelly McBride and Kevin Backhurst and thank you all for listening to this edition of the media.

Show will be available on BBC sounds until next week for me and rose, goodbye.

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