Tuesday, October 19, 2021


November 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

New aftershocks of the BBC shakeup were felt today (Monday) as the public broadcaster’s news director and her deputy were apparently suspended with pay while an investigation of the non-reporting and botched reporting of two Newsnight features are carried out. The two, Helen Boaden and Stephen Mitchell, were said to have “stepped aside,” a term apparently one step removed from “stepped down,” which connotes resigning. A BBC spokesman said, “Consideration is now being given to the extent to which individuals should be asked to account further for their actions and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken.” Boaden has maintained that she knew nothing about the two features before they aired. That claim was also made by George Entwistle, who resigned over the weekend as the BBC’s director general after less than two months on the job. Meanwhile the public broadcaster faced new criticism after it was revealed that Entwistle had been given a “golden parachute” of a full-year’s pay after handing in his resignation. Labor Party MP Harriet Harman called it “a reward for failure. … This is not the way to restore public confidence in the BBC.” Virtually every major British newspaper headlined the news of the payoff and suggested that the man who presumably negotiated it, Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, may himself be forced to step down. (In its headline, Rupert Murdoch’s London Sun called Patten “toast.”) Another controversy arose over the decision to install Tim Davie as temporary director general despite the fact that he has no background in journalism. He came to the BBC after serving as a marketing executive of Pepsico (the parent company of Pepsi Cola) in the U.K.