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Jan 08 2016

BBC’s impartiality in question after Stephen Doughty’s resignation

Category: Bad News Author:

The first two sentences of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines are as follows:

“Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. It applies to all our output and services – television, radio, online, and in our international services and commercial magazines.”

It seems difficult to reconcile this stance with the contents of a BBC blog post – since removed – that describes the Daily Politics team’s successful efforts to persuade Stephen Doughty to resign on live TV. The timing was of particular dramatic importance as the show aired immediately before Prime Minister’s Questions. Clearly, influencing such an event or its timing is anything but impartial.

Even more suspiciously, the BBC later issued a statement on Twitter which contradicts the contents of the blog post by claiming Doughty had “already decided to resign” and merely chose to make the announcement on the show. At best, then, the Daily Politics team is choosing to embellish their contribution to the show in a very bizarrely unflattering manner. At worst, the BBC and Stephen Doughty are guilty of collaborating to ensure his resignation had the greatest possible effect. In either case, I suggest filing a complaint at the very minimum.

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