BBC’s vow to deal with bias doubtful as Whitehall fears develop that the Company’s ‘modernising’ reforms may really make ‘groupthink’ on points like Brexit WORSE

  • Whitehall sources consider BBC’s pledge to deal with bias may very well be undermined by centralisation of stories manufacturing
  • There are considerations the broadcaster’s groupthink on points will not be tackled
  • Fears that its ‘modernised’ system ‘managed from the centre’ may get in approach










The BBC’s pledge to deal with bias may very well be undermined by its determination to more and more centralise its information manufacturing, Whitehall sources consider.

There are considerations the broadcaster’s groupthink on points corresponding to Brexit won’t be tackled if its ‘modernised’ system is ‘managed from the centre’.

It comes regardless of BBC bosses promising an ‘impartiality revolution’ to crackdown on bias. Final October, Tradition Secretary Nadine Dorries stated the company would wish to disclose the way it was ‘going to vary’ earlier than it received a brand new licence payment settlement.

Later that month, it launched particulars of an ‘motion plan’ to verify its content material is ‘truthful, correct and unbiased’. 

The BBC’s pledge to deal with bias may very well be undermined by its determination to more and more centralise its information manufacturing, Whitehall sources consider

Director-general Tim Davie additionally claimed the company’s dedication to impartiality was his fundamental precedence when he took on the function in 2020. However some are involved that the BBC’s ‘Modernising Information’ plans will undermine these pledges.

Its proposals contain the creation of ‘multi-skilled story groups’ who will produce tales for the BBC’s completely different programmes. It means whereas extra information divisions and reveals are being moved out of London, the journalists might be put into these central groups as an alternative of being connected to particular programmes.

However a current overview led by BBC board member Sir Nicholas Serota identified that the transfer would ‘contain a higher stage of centralised information manufacturing’ as particular person editors would have restricted energy to vary sure elements of their tales. And there are considerations that this can make it even more durable to deal with impartiality points on the broadcaster.

A Whitehall insider stated the overview ‘spells out the way in which by which nothing the BBC says they’ll do when it comes to lowering bias or growing ranges of impartiality will work’, including: ‘No matter who they transfer the place, the “story groups” will be sure that information output might be managed from the centre in precisely the identical approach.’

A recent review led by BBC board member Sir Nicholas Serota (pictured) pointed out that the BBC's plans to create ¿multi-skilled story teams¿ would ¿involve a greater level of centralised news production¿ as individual editors would have limited power to change certain parts of their stories

A current overview led by BBC board member Sir Nicholas Serota (pictured) identified that the BBC’s plans to create ‘multi-skilled story groups’ would ‘contain a higher stage of centralised information manufacturing’ as particular person editors would have restricted energy to vary sure elements of their tales

Sir Nicholas’s report additionally warned the transfer may improve ‘potential errors’ as tales might be ‘re-used by a number of programmes’. And it claimed there’s a threat that ‘plurality is diminished’ as a result of fewer tales might be lined.

It comes because the BBC yesterday revealed it had appointed an interim director of stories and present affairs amid studies that ITN may play ‘hardball’ about releasing the brand new appointee, Deborah Turness, early from her 12-month discover interval.

Jonathan Munro – the deputy director of stories who was concerned in rehiring Martin Bashir in 2016 regardless of his Diana interview – will oversee the division till Miss Turness arrives. Present director Fran Unsworth will depart on the finish of the month.

A BBC spokesman stated: ‘Impartiality is a key precedence for the BBC. Our newsroom restructure is designed to cut back duplication and provides audiences a greater service, alongside shifting extra jobs out of London and making monetary financial savings.

‘The Serota overview identifies the necessity for cautious monitoring of the adjustments we’re making and we’ve adopted its findings in our plan.’

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