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Journalism News

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    Outgoing BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Victoria Derbyshire is to present a new programme on the BBC News channel.

    After 16 years at the radio station, Derbyshire has described the news and current affairs slot – which will include interviews, discussion and debate – as “the TV programme I’ve always wanted to make”.

    Derbyshire said: “It will include the kind of broadcasting I love doing - original journalism, stories that affect the lives of our audience, exclusive interviews, viewer debates and big breaking news.

    “It's been a privilege to be able to build up such a strong relationship with the 5 live listeners over the last 16 years and I hope to be able to do the same with audiences in our new venture.”

    Meanwhile, lead presenter Matthew Amroliwala is to move from BBC News to BBC World News to front the Global strand, a post currently held by incoming North America editor Jon Sopel.

    Derbyshire’s departure, alongside Richard Bacon and Shelagh Fogarty, was announced last week. The exits of Derbyshire and Fogarty, two of the station’s most high-profile female employees, sparked fears that 5 Live could be returning to the days of ‘Radio Bloke’, according to the Daily Mail.

    Earlier this week, Daily Telegraph women’s editor and LBC presenter Emma Barnett was unveiled as a new 5 Live presenter for Sunday nights.


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    Around 3,000 BBC journalists who are members of the National Union of Journalists are to hold a 12-hour strike from 11.59am on Wednesday, 23 July, coinciding with the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    Turnout for the ballot was 46.6 per cent and of those who voted - 77.2 per cent were in favour of strike action.

    The strike is in protest at this year's pay offer of one per cent (with a minimum rise of £390).

    NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: "The decisive turnout and result clearly demonstrates that journalists across the BBC are not prepared to put up with paltry pay deals any longer, while those running the corporation continue to enjoy their lavish salary and perks at the same time as dishing out lectures about the need for staff to ‘get austerity’.

    “When it comes to executive perks, lavish salaries for managers and jobs for their mates, the BBC executive is the board that likes to say yes. When it comes to paying journalists and programme makers that deliver the content that makes the BBC the envy of the world, the BBC has tried to peddle the line that a below inflation deal is the only way of keeping their political and corporate enemies at bay in the forthcoming licence fee settlement. It does not wash. The NUJ believes there needs to be radical reform at the BBC, with executive pay capped at £150,000 – that would free up the money to ensure fair pay for all staff.
     
    “BBC managers have embarked on a major public relations exercise during the course of this ballot with one intention - to demonstrate that the NUJ is out of touch with its membership and that the disenchantment with the management of the corporation is only skin deep. Today’s result demonstrates how badly out of touch they are.
     
    “NUJ members want the BBC executive to robustly campaign for a decent licence fee settlement that will secure the future of the public service broadcaster and allow it to thrive. Death by a thousand cuts – with many more hundreds of damaging job losses set to be announced this week – is no future at all for the BBC.
     
    “Members are clear that they are prepared to take sustained action in this dispute and will name further dates if the dispute is not resolved. It’s time for the BBC to revaluate its position and to resolve this dispute by negotiating a sensible and fair pay rise for staff who work so hard, for modest salaries, because of their genuine commitment to public service broadcasting.”

    BBC News employs some 8,000 staff, around 5,500 of whom are understood to be journalists.

    The BBC has been promising that Glasgow 2014 will be its biggest ever Commonwealth Games with 1,300 hours of live coverage.

    A BBC spokesman said: “We will do all we can to bring our audience uninterrupted coverage of the Commonwealth Games. In the meantime we will continue to speak to the unions in an attempt to resolve this dispute. However we have already made an improved offer and we are mindful that across the BBC we need to make significant savings and deliver more for less.”  


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    A planned strike scheduled for the first day of the Commonwealth Games at the BBC has been called off after a new pay offer was made.

    Journalists and technicians had been due to walkout next Wednesday for 12 hours.

    Members of the National Union of Journalists and Bectu will now be consulted over the offer.

    Unions said the latest offer is £800 for those earning below £50,000; with £650 payable on August 1, and a further £150 on January 1 2015 and £650 for those earning above £50,000; with £500 payable on August 1 and a further £150 on January 1 2015.

    A BBC spokesman said: "We're pleased that the unions have suspended their strike action in order to consult their members and we hope that we will now be able to resolve this dispute.

    "We are now concentrating on delivering the best coverage of the Commonwealth Games for our audiences."

    Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu, said: "We welcome today's movement from management which means we now have a significantly improved offer which we believe our members should have the opportunity to consider in a ballot.

    "The truth is we've seen more movement from management in these negotiations this week, than we have seen in pay talks over the past five years."


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    BBC News has yet to recover the level of public trust it had before 2012 - when Newsnight spiked a report revealing Jimmy Savile child abuse allegations and then wrongly suggested Lord McAlpine was a paedophile.

    The corporation remains the most trusted source of news in the UK, according to its annual report, “although we are slightly below the levels reached before October 2012 when the crisis broke over coverage of Jimmy Savile and the separate Newsnight child abuse investigation”.

    The report said: “We will work hard to justify the audience’s continued trust. We will be alive to our critics and take responsibility for mistakes when we make them. We will uphold an uncompromising commitment to accuracy, impartiality, diversity of opinion and fair treatment of people in the news.”

    In a February 2014 survey of 1,864 UK adults who follow the news cited by the report (below), asked by Ipsos MORI “Of all news sources, which one source are you most likely to turn to if you want impartial news coverage?” some 50 per cent of respondents chose the BBC.  

    ITV was chosen by 13 per cent, Sky News by 7 per cent and Channel 4 by 4 per cent. Some 21 per cent chose another news provider, and 5 per cent said “don’t know”. The same survey in 2013 (below this year's) showed that 49 per cent of those questioned chose the BBC.

    In last year’s report, the Trust noted that “public perceptions that the BBC offers high quality, independent journalism” dropped from 70 per cent in 2011 to 65 per cent.

    The latest report says: “[W]e said then that this was likely to have been because the high profile problems in the BBC had affected audiences’ perceptions and trust. However, the score remained the same this year, and some supplementary qualitative research we carried out suggests greater competition in online news may also be affecting people’s overall opinions about the BBC’s journalism.”

    According to the report, 82 per cent of adults in the UK consumed BBC News each week across television, radio and online. While TV news viewing was slightly down, reaching 32m UK adults a week, radio news and current affairs was accessed by a record 29.2m a week in the final quarter of 2013.

    Use of the BBC News website rose to 25m weekly browsers in early 2014 (in the UK), and internationally the site recorded a record 62.8m unique browsers a week in March.

    Last year, a record 19.4m browsers from around the world followed coverage of Prince George’s birth on the BBC News website.

    Noting individual news stories, it said that the BBC’s television news coverage on the night of Nelson Mandela’s death was watched by 13.38m people on BBC One and the BBC News channel. The murder of Lee Rigby was BBC News’s most followed story.

    The table below, from the report, shows average audiences for BBC news programmes compared with terrestrial rivals.

    In April, head of BBC News James Harding was questioned at an internal meeting about whether the 24-hour channel could be closed down in the future. The Trust report shows that over the course of the financial year £66.2m was spent on the channel, including £21.2m on newsgathering. This was up from £61.5m overall and £17.8m on newsgathering the year before.

    Director general Tony Hall said: “With BBC News I believe that Britain has the best news organisation in the world. It offers a unique service: a network that is local, regional, national and global. This year I have been particularly pleased at the way our local radio stations responded to the terrible weather this winter; and our journalism in Syria, and in covering the conflict in Ukraine has been first-rate.

    “The BBC is by far the most trusted news service in the UK, and the most retweeted source of news the world over – these are achievements to be rightly proud of.”

    The BBC Trust’s acting chairman Diane Coyle said: “The Trust has reviewed BBC network news and current affairs and we found that, although it retains unrivalled audience trust thanks to consistently high standards, it needs to innovate in order to draw in a younger audience. 

    “There have also been some high-profile failures. The BBC’s Digital Media Initiative project was closed, at a cost of nearly £100million. And there was the controversy surrounding past severance payments above contractual entitlements to some senior staff. Both of these episodes involved significant sums of public money and saw the BBC falling well short of what licence fee payers expect.”

    Full report here.


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    It emerged today that the head of communications at the Department for Work and Pensions has accused Today presenter Evan Davis of bias during an interview with Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith.

    The Daily Mirror has used a Freedom of Information request to secure a copy of a letter of complaint sent to the BBC by Richard Caseby following the interview in March.

    In it he reportedly said: "I was dismayed by the BBC Radio 4 Today interview conducted by Evan Davis in which he failed to allow Mr Duncan Smith to finish his answers, asked loaded rhetorical questions – ‘why are you punishing people?’ – and gave a histrionic aside to listeners: ‘This is so frustrating!’.”

    He claimed Davis was guilty of a "bizarre display of petulance" during the interview. And in another Caseby letter reported by the Mirror, he is quoted accusing the BBC of "lack of balance and fairness" when covering welfare reforms.

    Caseby has previously blasted The Guardian for a series of inaccuracies in its coverage of his department.

    Davis was this week named as Jeremy Paxman's successor in the role of lead presenter on Newsnight.

    Fran Unsworth, Deputy Director BBC News and Current Affairs, said: “It was certainly evident to me that the interview was robust and that Evan Davis interrupted several times. But a challenging interview does not in itself demonstrate bias; it is about holding people in power to account whichever party they come from. Nor do I think the questions were rhetorical, rather than testing.”

    James Harding, Director BBC News and Current Affairs, said: “In the run up to the General Election, I think it extremely important not just that the BBC reports accurately but that politicians and civil servants respect the BBC’s right and responsibility to deliver independent and impartial news.”

    UPDATE:

    Press Gazette understands that Caseby also complained about a number of mistakes in a Today programme investigation into the spare room subsidy which was broadcast on 28 March.

    In a letter, Unsworth is understood to have said: "I am not generally in favour of presenters commenting on the progress of an interview as listeners should be left free to make up their own minds about it..."

    She is also understood to have said: "We are sorry about these mistakes and I apologise for them."


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    Sebastian Coe (pictured, Reuters) has signalled he has pulled out of the race to become the next chairman of the BBC Trust.

    The London 2012 supremo, who is chairman of the British Olympic Association, was reportedly the Government's preferred candidate for the role but told the Daily Mail he did not have the "capacity" for the job.

    The 1980 and 1984 1500-metre Olympic champion said: "I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities.

    "On reflection, I haven't the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) election.

    "As everyone knows, athletics is in my DNA."

    In an interview with the BBC last month Lord Coe said he was "not sure" about the job.

    Other names mentioned in relation to the role at the BBC's governing body include Dame Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of the company behind the Financial Times, and Channel 4 chairman Lord Burns.

    Lord Patten stood down in May for health reasons after a turbulent three years in the job.

    Former BBC executive Roger Mosey, who masterminded the corporation's Olympics coverage, welcomed the news when the Tory peer emerged as a possible replacement but said reform was needed.

    Mosey, whose career at the BBC included stints as editor of the Today programme, controller of Radio 5 live and head of television news, said: ''Seb Coe would be a great choice as BBC chairman. But the Trust role as now constituted is undoable: can't be both regulator and cheerleader.''

    The BBC Trust, as governing body of the corporation, upholds standards and controls licence fee revenue.


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    The BBC has rejected a Freedom of Information request for more details about the recruitment of 23 high-profile journalists, citing data protection.

    The corporation came under fire last month when it appeared to indicate that two external recruits had been taken on through a closed process.

    The appointments of ITV News's Lucy Manning and ITN's Ed Campbell came shortly before head of BBC News James Harding announced 415 jobs were to be lost across the division.

    The timing was criticised by the National Union of Journalists, with national organiser of broadcast Sue Harris describing the announcement as “really, really upsetting”.

    A BBC insider told Press Gazette at the time: “There is only one recruitment process that me and my colleagues know is competitive and that's a recruitment process.

    "There is widespread outrage in the BBC Newsroom about the BBC's cavalier disregard of its duties to be open and fair in its recruitment. This is nothing less than cronyism."

    A BBC spokesperson said: "We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process."

    Press Gazette received the same response when asking about the recruitment of more than 20 other staff members and filed a Freedom of Information request saying: “Could you please provide me with detail on how the following BBC employees were recruited. Have their current positions (which have all been taken up over 2013 and 2014, I believe) been formally advertised for? And have they had to go through a formal interview process? If not, please provide details of how the employees were recruited and who made the final decision to hire them. Please also provide the salary (or salary band) each employee receives.”

    The journalists, and their new positions, asked about are (internal moves asterisked):

    • Nick Hopkins (investigations correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Duncan Weldon (economics correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Keith Blackmore (managing editor, BBC News)
    • Laura Kuennsberg (presenter and chief correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Robert Peston (economics editor)*
    • Mishal Husain (presenter, Today)*
    • Paul Royall (editor, BBC News at Six and Ten)*
    • Ian Katz (editor, Newsnight)
    • Ceri Thomas (acting editor, Panorama)*
    • Jon Sopel (North American editor)*
    • Mark Mardell (presenter, The World This Weekend and The World at One)*
    • Kayta Adler (Europe editor), Ian Pannell (international correspondent)*
    • Mark Wray (head of BBC College of Journalism)*
    • Penny Marshall (education editor)
    • Hugh Pym (health editor)*
    • John Mullin (Scottish referendum editor) – Press Gazette now understands Mullin was taken on after a competitive recruitment process
    • Jim Gray (head of BBC TV current affairs and deputy to the head of news programmes)
    • Helen Boaden (director, BBC Radio)* 
    • Peter Rippon (editor, BBC Online Archive)*
    • James Harding (director of news and current affairs)
    • Lucy Manning (special correspondent)
    • Ed Campbell (editor, special correspondents)

    The BBC responded: “We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited for in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process.

    “We are withholding information on the recruitment processes that the individuals list were subject to, under section 40(2) (personal information) of the Act. Under section 40(2) of the Act, personal information about identifiable living individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would breach one or more principles in the Data Protection Act 1998. The individuals concerned would not expect their employment/salary data to be disclosed to a third party. To do so would be unfair; therefore, disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle (fair and lawful processing).”


    0 0

    Members of the National Union of Journalists have voted to accept an increased pay offer at the BBC after strike action was called off last month.

    Those working at the corporation who earn less than £50,000 will see their pay increase by £800, and journalists earning more than that by £650.

    Staff were originally offered an “unacceptable” 1 per cent pay increase. In response, the NUJ, Bectu and Unite voted for action and a 12-hour strike was threatened for the first day of the Commonwealth Games before the BBC agreed to negotiate.

    According to the NUJ, the result of the consultative ballot on the new offer saw 75 per cent of those voting choosing to accept and 25 per cent rejecting. Bectu and Unite members also voted to accept.

    The NUJ said the deal includes a 2.7 per cent increase on floors and ceilings of pay grades, and that “management made concessions on a range of pay anomalies and grading issues and proposed a pay increase for 2015 of 2.5 per cent, with the same rate applied on all grade thresholds and all allowances”.

    A statement added: “Tony Hall agreed to talks to address the pay inequities that exist in World Service and Monitoring.”

    Meanwhile, the NUJ and Bectu are in the process of balloting for strike action over planned job cuts that will affect 500 people across BBC News and the World Service.


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    Rona Fairhead is in line to become the new chairwoman of the BBC Trust.

    The former Financial Times Group chief executive is the front-runner to replace Lord Patten, who stood down in May for health reasons after a turbulent three years in the job.

    The BBC reported on its website that Fairhead had been appointed to the role, and in doing so would become the first woman to chair the BBC Trust.

    But a statement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport described her only as the Government's "preferred candidate".

    Fairhead will now appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny on 9 September.

    Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Rona Fairhead is an exceptional individual with a highly impressive career history. Her experience of working with huge multinational corporations will undoubtedly be a real asset at the BBC Trust.

    "I have no doubt she will provide the strong leadership the position demands and will prove to be a worthy champion of licence fee payers.

    "I am sure that under Rona's leadership the BBC will continue to play a central role in informing, educating and entertaining the nation."

    Quoted in The Sunday Times, Fairhead said: "The BBC is a great British institution packed with talented people and I am honoured to have the opportunity to be the chairman of the BBC Trust."

    She said she was "under no illusions about the significance and the enormity" of the job.

    Education Secretary and minister for women and equalities, Nicky Morgan, said: "I would like to congratulate Rona Fairhead, I know she will be an excellent BBC Chairman.

    "This is a milestone moment - and comes at a time when there are more women at work than ever before, represented at higher levels of management.

    "Diversity in the media is incredibly important, and Rona Fairhead will be a valuable asset to the BBC. As our public broadcaster the corporation has a duty to represent the people who fund it."

    The BBC Trust, as governing body of the corporation, upholds standards and controls licence fee revenue.

    Lord Patten's stint at the top of the BBC's governing body, which started in 2011 and was due to end next April, has seen him work with three different director generals and weather scandals including excessive executive pay and the corporation's disastrous Diamond Jubilee coverage.

    The peer, who had heart surgery seven years ago, said he stepped down ''on the advice of my doctors''.

    In July, Sebastian Coe signalled he had pulled out of the race to become the next chairman.

    The London 2012 supremo, who is chairman of the British Olympic Association, was reportedly the Government's preferred candidate for the role but told the Daily Mail he did not have the ''capacity'' for the job.

    The 1980 and 1984 1500-metre Olympic champion said: ''I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities.

    ''On reflection, I haven't the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) election.

    ''As everyone knows, athletics is in my DNA.''

    Other names mentioned in relation to the role at the BBC's governing body included Dame Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of the company behind the Financial Times, and Channel 4 chairman Lord Burns.


    0 0

    The BBC’s senior compliance officer has backed his team’s decision not to disclose details about the recruitment of 23 high-profile journalists.

    The corporation came under fire in June when it appeared to indicate that two external recruits had been taken on through a closed process.

    The appointments of ITV News’s Lucy Manning and ITN’s Ed Campbell came shortly before head of BBC News James Harding announced that 415 jobs were to be lost across the division.

    The timing was criticised by the National Union of Journalists, with national organiser of broadcast Sue Harris describing the announcement as “really, really upsetting”.

    A BBC insider told Press Gazette at the time: “There is only one recruitment process that me and my colleagues know is competitive and that's a recruitment process.

    "There is widespread outrage in the BBC Newsroom about the BBC's cavalier disregard of its duties to be open and fair in its recruitment. This is nothing less than cronyism."

    A BBC spokesperson said: "We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process."

    The BBC gave the same response when asked about the recruitment of more than 20 other staff members.

    Press Gazette then asked for details about the recruitment of the journalists: whether their positions had been formally advertised for, whether there had been a formal interview process and what salaries they are paid.

    Here is the request:

    Could you please provide me with details on how the following BBC employees were recruited. Have their current positions (which have all been taken up over 2013 and 2014, I believe) been formally advertised for? And have they had to go through a formal interview process? If not, please provide details of how the employees were recruited and who made the final decision to hire them. Please also provide the salary (or salary band) each employee receives.”

    The journalists, and their new positions, asked about are (internal moves asterisked):

    • Nick Hopkins (investigations correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Duncan Weldon (economics correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Keith Blackmore (managing editor, BBC News)
    • Laura Kuennsberg (presenter and chief correspondent, Newsnight)
    • Robert Peston (economics editor)*
    • Mishal Husain (presenter, Today)*
    • Paul Royall (editor, BBC News at Six and Ten)*
    • Ian Katz (editor, Newsnight)
    • Ceri Thomas (acting editor, Panorama)*
    • Jon Sopel (North American editor)*
    • Mark Mardell (presenter, The World This Weekend and The World at One)*
    • Kayta Adler (Europe editor), Ian Pannell (international correspondent)*
    • Mark Wray (head of BBC College of Journalism)*
    • Penny Marshall (education editor)
    • Hugh Pym (health editor)*
    • John Mullin (Scottish referendum editor) – Press Gazette now understands Mullin was taken on after a competitive recruitment process
    • Jim Gray (head of BBC TV current affairs and deputy to the head of news programmes)
    • Helen Boaden (director, BBC Radio)* 
    • Peter Rippon (editor, BBC Online Archive)*
    • James Harding (director of news and current affairs)
    • Lucy Manning (special correspondent)
    • Ed Campbell (editor, special correspondents)

    The BBC rejected the FOI request, saying: 

    We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited for in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process.

    “We are withholding information on the recruitment processes that the individuals list were subject to, under section 40(2) (personal information) of the Act. Under section 40(2) of the Act, personal information about identifiable living individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would breach one or more principles in the Data Protection Act 1998. The individuals concerned would not expect their employment/salary data to be disclosed to a third party. To do so would be unfair; therefore, disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle (fair and lawful processing).”

    In response to this, freedom of information campaigner Heather Brooke, who helped break the 2009 MPs' expenses scandal, told the Evening Standard: “The Data Protection Act isn’t supposed to be about keeping everything completely private... If you work for the BBC, a publicly funded body, then there are expectations that the process by which you got the job was acceptable.”

    She added: “The corporate types are erring on the side of secrecy but it does them a disservice: it makes them look like they have something to hide.” 

    After consulting the Campaign for Freedom of Information, Press Gazette asked that the decision be subject to an internal review, making clear that the FOI was to find out about positions the individuals hold rather than them personally and that this meant personal information was not relevant.

    Simon Pickard, the BBC's senior compliance office, disagreed. In response to Press Gazette's appeal, he said:

    The ICO’s guidance ‘Determining what is personal data’ explains that in many cases, data may be personal data simply because its content is such that it is ‘obviously about’ an individual. As the applicant has requested information about specific positions, the information requested is ‘obviously about’ the relevant individuals and falls within the definition of personal data. It is noted that in the applicants original request the names of the post-holders was provided, and that when asking for this internal review the applicant re-phrased their request by asking about the post and referencing who was currently in each post. Either way, this request stills falls under the ‘obviously about’ definition.

    “Section 40(2) provides an exemption where an applicant is asking for someone else’s personal data. This exemption is used in situations when disclosing information would contravene the first data protection principle in Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998. As the applicant is clearly requesting information about living individuals, Section 40(2) applies and the BBC would need to consider if this breached any of the data protection principles.

    “The first data protection principle (fair and lawful processing) is the most relevant in this case. The first consideration of this principle is to consider whether it would be fair to the data subjects to disclose their personal data, which in this case is in respect of their appointment into their current post of employment. If disclosure would not be fair, then the information is exempt from disclosure.

    “I consider that details regarding an individual’s recruitment into their current post can be considered as personal data. I therefore uphold the original findings of the request.”

    Press Gazette will now be appealing to the Information Commissioner.


    In a separate FoI submitted by Press Gazette, the BBC has revealed that 13 members of staff work full-time on its information and compliance (FoI) team. There is one additional FoI worker on the Television Licensing Management team, it said.

    Between January and July this year, it recieved 1,246 FoI requests. In total, 123 requests were returned late - after the 20-working-day deadline - and 49 were subject to internal reviews.

    In 2013, the BBC received 1,993 FOI requests. Some 459 - 23 per cent - were returned after the 20-day deadline, and 99 were subject to internal reviews.

    The BBC said it did not hold information on how many times rejected FoI requests had been taken to the Information Commissioner.

    But court records on the Baili website show that the Information Commissioner has ruled over 54 complaints on the BBC's handling of FoIs in 2013 and 2014. The corporation was found to have breached FoI rules on eight occasions for not responding within the 20-day limit.

    In the FoI response, the BBC asked that this statement be put into any subsequent story: “The BBC received over 3,000 Freedom of Information Act requests from January 2013 to July 2014. Each request is considered individually and every effort is made to answer as fully as possible, often volunteering more information than the Act requires. However, sometimes the information requested is out of the scope of Freedom of Information legislation or protected by an exemption under the Act.”


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    The BBC's deputy director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth said her department had already cut £50m without the audience noticing so would be able to cut another £50m.

    In July, head of BBC News James Harding announced that 415 jobs were to be lost across the division, with 195 created.

    But speaking at the Royal Television Society's London conference today, Unsworth, who earns a BBC salary of £183,000, pointed out that the corporation survived the last £50m cut-back without losing its quality.

    "It's about making choices, isn't it," she said while being interviewed by former BBC journalist and broadcasting lecturer Stewart Purvis.

    "I seem to have lived through so many cycles of this. And yes this latest round is £50m, of course, we've already done £50m. Now, I challenge you in the audience to say have you particularly noticed the [fall] of the quality of BBC News when we did the last £50m?

    "So another £50m, well, it's going to be tough. I'm not saying it's going to be easy. But I think the challenge is to do it in a way that the audience don't notice. And the fact that we've done it before gives me some kind of hope."

    Unsworth was also challenged by Purvis over the BBC's coverage of South Yorkshire Police's search of the home of Sir Cliff Richard. With Harding away, Unsworth gave the go-ahead for the story.

    She dismissed claims that this is not the type of story the BBC would usually cover, and described the suggestion that BBC News does not "break" news as "nonsense".

    Speaking to Purvis, she said: "You as a journalist, let me just ask you the question. If a reporter came to you and said: 'Oh, I've got this story that South Yorkshire Police are investigating a historic sex allegation against Cliff Richard and what's more they've told me they're going to search his house tomorrow, they've even sent me an aerial photo of his house' - do you think it's up to me to say: 'I don't think we'll tell the viewer about that because that's not the kind of story the BBC does'?

    "We should start from the question of why wouldn't we report something - not: Is this a BBC story?"

    Also on the panel were ITN chief executive John Hardie, and head of Sky News John Ryley.

    Hardie was challenged by Purvis over claims he made earlier this year that ITV News, which ITN provides for, has been guilty of "ducking" out of high-profile news stories. He said that he disagreed with ITV's lack of coverage of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee and also criticised it for handing responsibility of Margaret Thatcher's funeral to This Morning.

    Hardie said that ITV News has been an "absolute leader" in broadcast news in recent years and said that these instances were evidence of the "reality of the commercial world".

    Asked if the proposed 400-plus job cuts at BBC News was good news for ITN, Hardie pointed out that this number is more than half of ITN's entire staffing.


    0 0

    Journalists at the BBC have decided not to go on strike after management agreed to a freeze on compulsory redundancies and on recruitment.

    Members of the National Union of Journalists voted in favour of strike action in protest at plans to cut 415 jobs from BBC News, but no strike date had been set.

    NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “We’re pleased that common sense has prevailed and that a sensible solution has been negotiated following talks with Tony Hall.

    "NUJ members are deeply concerned that the proposed job cuts will have a devastating impact on their ability to produce quality content. That NUJ members were prepared to take strike action is a measure of that concern, and a reflection of how low morale at the corporation has fallen.

    "That the management within News now have to come up with their plan as to how posts can be lost without burdening already over-stretched journalists is a sensible step forward. A moratorium on compulsory redundancies and a proper process to deal with assessments of workloads is good news for NUJ members, and good news for the viewing public."

    According to the NUJ the following agreement was reached following the talks with director general Tony Hall and BBC head of HR Valerie Hughes-D'Aeth:

    •           A recruitment freeze across News – to last as a minimum to the end of March, with a review in six months, with exceptional cases able to be hired only on the basis of agreement with the joint unions

    •          A moratorium on compulsory redundancies across News, to run as a minimum to the end of March, subject to a six-month review

    •          No voluntary redundancies to leave before the end of December 2014 – any exceptional cases to be agreed with the joint unions

    •          Agreed that News management must devise and present their strategy as to how they believe work can be done – and standards maintained – if their proposed redundancies take place

    •          Workload concerns to be addressed in this context – with an accompanying Work Pressure Review which will be done jointly with the unions.

    The NUJ has also agreed to halt its current work to rule policy at the BBC.  


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    There are now 17 female presenters on BBC local radio breakfast shows after the corporation pledged to increase numbers, according to research.

    The corporation's director general Lord Hall said in August last year that he wanted to see more women hosting or co-hosting breakfast shows.

    "By the end of 2014 I would like to see half of our local radio stations with a woman presenting on the breakfast shows," he said.

    Radio Times said that of 41 breakfast shows - the target does not take into account radio stations outside England and the Channel Islands - there are now 17 female presenters and an 18th is in the pipeline, compared to eight before the BBC boss made the pledge.

    But it said that, of the 18 shows (44 per cent) with a female presenter, only five feature women presenting on their own.

    David Holdsworth, the BBC's controller of English regions, said that the broadcaster had made "demonstrably good progress" and he was confident of reaching 50 per cent by the end of the year.

    But he admitted that he had been contacted by a few worried male presenters asking: "Is the game up for me?"

    And he added: "There's a much bigger job to do, which is about the overall sound of BBC local radio. And that's not just about women; it's about age, people's ethnic background, disability, social class. What you really want are presenters who are a good balance on all those measures."


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    Baroness Butler-Sloss, who stepped down as chairman of an inquiry into allegations of child abuse by establishment figures in the summer, is to be a guest editor of Radio 4's Today programme.

    The former head of the High Court's family division will be among the prominent figures who take over the programme annually during the festive season.

    She stepped down from the inquiry in July as she acknowledged that her family links to a former attorney general would "cause difficulties" for the process.

    Lady Butler-Sloss had faced pressure over her appointment as the investigation would have been expected to examine the handling of allegations of abuse by her late brother, Sir Michael Havers.

    She will also be interviewed live during the programme, after Today editor Jamie Angus insisted that the guest editorship must include a chance for the editor to be quizzed on air.

    He has also made clear that there should be no attempt to mess with the established Thought For The Day slot which is used exclusively as a reflection on faith.

    Angus said: "There are two cardinal rules now. One is that you can't mess around with thought for the day, or use it as an excuse to have an atheist do thought for the day and the other rule is that you have to give an interview. PJ Harvey didn't do one last year, which I wasn't very happy about."

    Musician Harvey had also initially tried to insert an address she had commissioned from Julian Assange into the Thought For The Day section of the programme, although it was later given a different status as an "alternative" thought when it was deemed too unsuitable.

    Angus said: "It was very thoughtful. It was kind of spiritual in a secular way. I thought he had a really good go but in the end, we looked at the script and thought we can't run this as Thought For The Day."

    He said Harvey's programme led to "several hundreds" of complaints, all of which he said he answered personally. He admited there were also discussions beforehand about whether the show should even have been broadcast.

    Angus said: "We knew the PJ Harvey programme would be controversial. We sat down at the time and had a really good hard look and thought about whether to put it out or not. We took the view in the end that it was the right side of the line. It was very close to the line.

    "But I admired her. She grasped the size of the opportunity we give to people in the guest editor's slots. She really pushed it and we asked her to do it.

    "They should be a bit challenging otherwise why have a guest editor. You've got to be taken out of your comfort zone a bit.

    Four other guest editors will be announced later in the year. During her interview for the show Lady Butler-Sloss will talk about her departure from the abuse inquiry and her programme will also tackle attitudes towards those who live in the countryside.


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    BBC deputy director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth has been appointed director of the BBC World Service Group.

    Unsworth will retain her current title as she takes charge of the World Service, World News and bbc.com/news. She will also lead BBC Monitoring and will chair the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action.

    Unsworth's current role pays £183,000 a year and the current director of the World Service is paid £232,959. The BBC has not revealed how much Unsworth will earn in her combined role, but the corporation's highest earners do have their salaries published quarterly.

    Press Gazette understands Unsworth's World Service job will be her "primary role" but that she will deputise for director of news and current affairs James Harding "where necessary".

    She replaces Peter Horrocks, who announced he was leaving the BBC in the New Year after 33 years.

    The BBC is aiming to build its global audience to 500m by 2020, with the last estimate for this figure standing at 265m. This is up from 234m in 2007.

    In May, a report by Sir Howard Stringer, commissioned by director of news and current affairs James Harding, found that the corporation was “punching well below its weight in the digital world”.

    Unsworth said: "Today is the proudest day of my professional life. I do not take on lightly the responsibility of looking after a part of the BBC with such a proud history.

    “I promise to be the guardian of the best of the BBC's values of independence, impartiality and fairness in our international services, while continuing the successful modernisation of the World Service Group to take our journalism to new audiences worldwide.”

    Director General of the BBC Tony Hall said: “I have known Fran since she joined the BBC and watched in admiration as her career has developed. 

    "Her range of skills and experience combined with a quite exceptional gift for management makes her exactly the right person to take over the enormously important job of directing the World Service Group."

    Harding said: "Fran embodies the best of the BBC: she is thoughtful and enabling, tireless and determined, interesting and smart.  

    "Fran is already known for her record in fighting for journalistic freedom and free expression.  

    "I know she will prove an inspiring and respected director of the World Service, inside the BBC, in Britain and around the world."


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    One of the BBC's African radio services has been suspended by the Rwandan government in protest at a documentary about the country's 1990s genocide, the broadcaster said.

    The corporation defended Rwanda's Untold Story, broadcast on BBC2 on 1 October, and said the decision to take the Great Lakes Service off the air was "unwarranted and disproportionate".

    The programme investigated allegations that current Rwandan president Paul Kagame was involved in shooting down a plane carrying one of his predecessors - an event which sparked the 1994 conflict that cost thousands of lives.

    Earlier this week the Rwandan Parliament demanded an apology from the corporation and passed a resolution to ban the BBC.

    The country's minister of foreign affairs Louise Mushikiwabo described the documentary as an "attack on Rwanda and its people" and said her government was contemplating taking action against the broadcaster.

    A BBC spokesman said: "We are surprised and disappointed that the Rwandan government has suspended the BBC Great Lakes Service on FM.

    "We consider this action unwarranted and disproportionate.

    "We believe Rwanda's Untold Story, which was produced by a BBC current affairs team in London and broadcast on a domestic channel in the UK, made a valuable contribution to the understanding of the tragic history of the country and the region.

    "The BBC strongly refutes the suggestion that any part of the programme constitutes a 'denial of the genocide against the Tutsi'."

    He added that the documentary made repeated references to the mass killings of Tutsis by Hutus in 1994 and several interviews which discussed it.

    It also said the Rwandan government had turned down several requests to appear in the programme.


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    Older women have been "forced to take redundancy" from BBC news and current affairs jobs and gagged with confidentiality clauses, TV presenter Miriam O'Reilly has claimed.

    The 57-year-old former Countryfile (pictured, BBC) host told the House of Lords Communications Committee that the corporation was avoiding criticism of age discrimination and "comeback" for its actions.

    She read out a number of statements from older women who she said were "forced" into redundancy.

    "They signed confidentiality agreements as part of the pay-off, which means they can't speak publicly about the way they went," she said.

    "In some ways this is what protects an organisation like the BBC. There's no comeback on them because these confidentiality clauses act as gags."

    O'Reilly won an employment tribunal against the corporation when she was rejected for a role on a revamped prime-time version of Countryfile.

    "I refused to sign (a confidentiality agreement) and that's why I'm always speaking out because I haven't been tied into one of those," she explained.

    "These women were on top form. These women had all the time in the world to concentrate on the job and they really wanted to be able to do that and continue."

    O'Reilly was given a deal to return to the corporation after winning her legal case but she left after one year to work on other projects including her charity, Women's Equality Network.

    She said: "I was not given the programmes that the BBC was contracted to give me.

    "I was supposed to do a number of Radio 4 programmes. They didn't materialise.

    "I wasn't given a pass, I wasn't given a computer log in. I was sidelined onto a religious programme on the World Service."

    She added that the NUJ is looking into claims from BBC staff that she has been "blacklisted" from the corporation.

    "They do say publicly they want to work with me but privately the phone doesn't ring," she said.

    Equalities minister Nicky Morgan told the committee she believed that the TV and radio audience wanted to see more older women on the air.

    "Why is diversity important? Because over 50 per cent of the population are female," said Ms Morgan.

    "I would strongly suspect that the evidence has shown that a lot of older women take their news and watch programmes particularly on TV and radio.

    "Actually, I would have thought the broadcasters themselves would be thinking about having the right people on screens and broadcasting in order to reflect the audience themselves.

    "There's no reason why broadcasters can't, when recruiting, look for older women and it is now, I think, for the broadcasters to realise themselves that there is a need or a demand from consumers of the media for older women to be on our screens and in our radio studios.

    "It goes back to ... thinking about the audience and those who consume the news and the programmes that are being broadcast.

    "I stand to be corrected ... but I would have thought we already have some extremely talented older female broadcasters and I see no reason why they shouldn't go on for as long as the men do."

    The BBC said in a statement: "We don't recognise the picture painted at the select committee.

    "As we explained to the committee last week, nearly half of the BBC's news and current affairs workforce is female, with 37.3 per cent in leadership positions in network news and 35.1 per cent in global news and we have a large number of on-air and management positions filled by women in news.

    "Meanwhile, the BBC has led the industry through our Expert Women training programme and we have a range of flexible working arrangements, as well as committing to a number of steps to improve things further."

    Responding to O'Reilly's comments, the BBC said: "As we've said before, she hasn't been blacklisted. When Miriam left the BBC, she said she had a rewarding time here."

    Morgan told the committee: "It was only a few decades ago that broadcasters would not allow women to be radio newsreaders, as their voices were deemed 'not quite right'. How far we have come.

    "The broadcasting industry plays such an important role in influencing and challenging social norms we see around us every day, so having more women in visible positions would be more likely to provide positive role models for current and future generations."

    Morgan said the Government had a role to play in highlighting the issue of the representation of women in broadcasting and bringing people together to discuss it, but added: "I'm not entirely convinced that it is for the Government to interfere or to comment on particular sectors."

    And she said she was "not in favour of mandatory quotas" for female representation in particular jobs.

    "I'm instinctively against setting quotas," said the equalities minister. "I prefer a voluntary approach, which I think does yield results and more importantly yields longer-term cultural changes, which is what this whole area needs."

    Culture minister Ed Vaizey told the committee: "This is a very important issue. The Government is taking action across the whole piece in terms of business getting better representation of women, but I think we all understand that broadcasting is particularly high-profile because still - even in the age of the smartphone and the tablet - broadcast programmes come into the living room and people look to broadcasting in order to see role models.

    "People say that television programmes are the record of our contemporary society. If you were to look back at programmes being broadcast now in 20 or 30 years' time, you should be asking yourself the question 'Do these programmes accurately reflect the make-up of our society?'. And of course that includes the prominent representation of women."


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    BBC head of news James Harding said the corporation is investigating buying content from local newspapers and setting up a fund to pay for court reporting.

    And he also hit back at the widespread complaint amongst newspaper publishers that the BBC undermines them by being such a strong, free online competitor.

    He told editors that the BBC wants “more partnerships, more openness, more trying things out”.

    And insisting that the BBC does not have a negative impact on the newspaper business, he said: “I don’t think that the BBC is the problem.”

    “Look at countries, such as the US, where there is no BBC. The newspaper industry is in much worse shape. And, in fact, if you take a considered look at the data, as Mediatique the consultancy have done, then you find that actually the UK is among the most successful online news markets in the world, it gives UK audiences unprecedented choice and acting as a great British export.

    "Look at providers providers – the Daily Mail and Guardian (two of the top three newspaper websites in the world), look at the FT and the BBC - together they have around 400 million unique users per month, two-thirds of which are outside the UK.”

    He said that overall UK online news revenues are close to £500m a year and said: “This is the most exciting time to be a journalist since the advent of television.”

    Harding said that it is in the BBC’s self interest to see a “thriving local news business” and that it was in the self interest of the local news business to see a “thriving BBC”.

    “We act, I hope, as a megaphone for independent journalism in the public interest. A Britain without the BBC will lose that platform for your work. It will not mean more news, it will just mean more PR.

    “It will mean more people getting their political information from direct mail from from the political parties. It will be more consumer information relayed by retailers, wholesalers, people with a product to sell.”

    Harding that the BBC is carrying out an audit in West Yorkshire and Bristol looking at how stories are sourced by the BBC from other news organisations and whether it could pay for them.

    He said it has also discussed creating a fund to cover local courts and that conversations are planned with the Press Association and Ministry of Justice about this.

    In January the BBC is hosting a joint industry event looking at data journalism at a local level.

    Harding said: “On data journalism we are on the cusp of something quite extraordinary in the way we can hold public services to account. We are just beginning to understand the potential of data journalism.

    “For the first time we are going to be able to look at what people in positions of authority say and measure it against the output of their public services.”

    Asked about complaints that the BBC regularly lifts stories from local newspapers without attribution, he said: “It’s just not the case.”

    A Times editorial from July 2012, when Harding was editor, was quoted at him in which the BBC was described as “big, bloated and cunning”. Asked if the BBC was “too big” Harding said pointed out that because the BBC is funded by every home in the UK it has to serve every home in the UK.

    He said: “The question is not whether we are too big, the question is about whether we are good enough.”

    Asked by Guardian reader’s editor Chris Elliott why the BBC was expanding into Australia (in competition with The Guardian Australia website) Harding played it down.

    He said it was merely a reorganisation of the BBC’s homepage in Australia and added that given that The Guardian is a “formidable and aggressive news organisation” it is “a surprise to me” that the BBC had come in for criticism from Guardian Media Group chief executive Andrew Miller on this point.


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    The BBC has been forced to admit that three high-profile members of editorial staff were appointed without their jobs being advertised.

    Earlier this year, the corporation rejected a Freedom of Information Act request from Press Gazette asking whether 24 high-profile journalists appointed over the last couple of years went through a competitive recruitment process to get their jobs.

    Press Gazette successfully appealed to the Information Commissioner and the BBC has disclosed information on 11 of the journalists. However, Press Gazette will be asking the Information Commissioner to compel the BBC to disclose information about the remaining 13.

    In mid-June, the appointments of two ITN employees - Ed Campbell as editor of special correspondents and Lucy Manning as special correspondent for BBC News - shortly before staff were told of more than 400 job losses sparked outrage among other BBC journalists.

    The BBC has now revealed that Campbell was recruited without the post being advertised. The corporation continues to withhold information about the recruitment of Manning.

    The BBC's own guidelines state that jobs should be filled "via a competitive selection process" which is "accessible to all" in all but "very limited circumstances".

    Press Gazette was told by an insider that the pair had not been recruited in an "open and fair manner" and put this to the press office.

    A spokesperson said: “We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited for in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process.”

    Asked about around 20 other high-profile appointees, the press office provided the same response.

    Press Gazette then asked in an FoI request: “Could you please provide me with detail on how the following BBC employees were recruited. Have their current positions (which have all been taken up over 2013 and 2014, I believe) been formally advertised for? And have they had to go through a formal interview process? If not, please provide details of how the employees were recruited and who made the final decision to hire them. Please also provide the salary (or salary band) each employee receives.”

    This was rejected on data protection grounds in late July, with the BBC saying: “We are withholding information on the recruitment processes that the individuals list were subject to, under section 40(2) (personal information) of the Act. Under section 40(2) of the Act, personal information about identifiable living individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would breach one or more principles in the Data Protection Act 1998. The individuals concerned would not expect their employment/salary data to be disclosed to a third party. To do so would be unfair; therefore, disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle (fair and lawful processing).”

    After an internal review was requested, the BBC's senior compliance officer Simon Pickard rejected the suggestion that the FoI was intended to find information out about positions rather than individuals.

    However, following a complaint to the Information Commissioner, the BBC has offered to supply part of the information requested.

    The BBC has disclosed information on the following appointments (* denotes an internal move): 

    • Keith Blackmore (managing editor of BBC News)
    • Paul Royall (editor of BBC News at Six and Ten)*
    • Ian Katz (editor of Newsnight)
    • Ceri Thomas (for head of news programmes position, though he is now Panorama editor)*
    • Mark Wray (head of BBC College of Journalism)*
    • John Mullin (Scottish referendum editor)
    • Jim Gray (head of BBC TV and current affairs and deputy head of news programmes)
    • Helen Boaden (BBC Radio director)*
    • Peter Rippon (BBC online archive editor)*
    • James Harding (director of news and current affairs)
    • Ed Campbell (editor of special correspondents).

    The part-disclosure has revealed that Campbell, whose appointment upset staff in the summer, as well as Boaden and Rippon were appointed despite the positions not being advertised internally or externally.

    The BBC said in its FoI letter to Press Gazette and the Information Commissioner: “Of the positions that were advertised, all of the candidates who were successful went through a formal interview process.

    "As stated in our original response to the request, the BBC ensures that we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial members of staff have been recruited for in a different way, by [sic] always within the proper recruitment process.“

    Boaden, former head of BBC News, and Rippon, former Newsnight editor, were moved into their positions in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile and Lord McAlpine scandals, with the former retaining her £340,000 salary.

    The FoI disclosure also shows that the positions of Wray and Royall were advertised internally only.

    Of the 11 staff, the salaries of five – Blackmore, Thomas, Boaden, Gray and Harding – are already published online because they exceed £150,000.

    The disclosure does not give the exact salaries of the remaining six, but places them into broad (and in some cases unspecified) salary ranges.

    Royall, Katz and Rippon are in senior management pay grades, described as SM2, but no range is specified. Wray and Campbell earn between £42,853 and £74,622 and former Independent on Sunday editor Mullin makes between £38,338 and £67,124.

    The BBC has declined to provide any information on the 13 other members of BBC staff, because it says they fall under the category of "talent". They are:

    • Nick Hopkins (Newsnight investigations correspondent)
    • Laura Kuennsberg (Newsnight economics correspondent)
    • Robert Peston (economics editor)*
    • Mishal Husain (Today presenter)*
    • Jon Sopel (North American editor)*
    • Mark Mardell (The World This Weekend and The World At One presenter)
    • Katya Adler (Europe editor)*
    • Ian Pannell (international correspondent)*
    • Penny Marshall (education editor, now returned to ITV News)
    • Hugh Pym (health editor)*
    • Lucy Manning (BBC News special correspondent)
    • Evan Davis (Newsnight presenter).

    The BBC said: “We consider the information we hold in relation to those individuals we would describe as 'talent' [the 13] to be outside the scope of the Act...

    “Decisions about the engagement and selection of talent are creative in nature, involving the review of such considerations as the skills of that presenter and the particular abilities that they will bring to the role that we are asking of them.

    “The engagement of one presenter or journalist over another is therefore an editorial decision, closely related to the editorial and creative requirements of the programme itself, and one which necessarily influences the BBC’s subsequent output.

    “Accordingly, any information the BBC holds about the recruitment and salary paid to these individuals is not subject to the Act. “

    It said earlier in the latest release: “We have revisited our response and we consider that some of the requested information is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature’ and is therefore not subject to the Act.

    “As you may know, the Act does not apply to the BBC in the way it does to most public authorities in one significant respect. Part VI of Schedule 1 to the Act recognises the different position of the BBC by saying that it covers information ‘held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature’. This means the Act does not apply to information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.

    “The limited application of the Act to public service broadcasters is to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights. The BBC is under a duty to impart information and ideas on all matters of public interest and the importance of this function has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights. Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the media to fulfil this function.” 

    Press Gazette has been sent a copy of the BBC’s recruitment policies, which state: "Vacancies should be filled via a competitive selection process, using fair and robust job-related criteria. Recruitment and selection processes should be accessible to all..."

    They also state: "All continuing vacancies, plus vacancies of three months or more, should be advertised internally across the BBC.

    "There are very limited circumstances in which the above rules can be disregarded."

    Under the heading "Appointments without competition" the BBC guidelines state:  "In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate or practical to fill a vacancy without a  competitive selection process. The rationale for doing so should include an assessment of the potential impact, and approval sought in advance from a senior member of the divisional HR  team.

    The circumstances in which an appointment may be made without competition are as follows: 

    • If there is a suitably qualified employee seeking redeployment, provided this does  not involve a promotion.
    • Where the BBC has committed to reinstate an employee on return from a BBC role  overseas, on return from a secondment to another organisation, or on return from a  career break, provided that this does not involve a promotion. 
    • Where there are overriding operational considerations of an exceptional nature. 
    • Where a similar vacancy has been advertised so recently (normally within 4  months) that the field of candidates has not changed, and is therefore known to the  hiring manager.  
    • Where there has been no substantial change to the principal responsibilities of a role, but it has been re-graded as a result of an evaluation process."

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    The new chair of the BBC Trust has declined to reopen the Pollard Review into the Jimmy Savile scandal in the fact "crucial" evidence was omitted from it.

    Last November, Rob Wilson MP took a journalist’s recording to the Trust in which report author Nick Pollard said he had made a “mistake” by not including evidence from former head of news Helen Boaden where she claimed to have told then director general Mark Thompson – who was cleared of wrongdoing – about the Savile allegations before tribute programmes were broadcast in December 2011.

    The Trust, then chaired by Chris Patten, “considered it did not undermine the conclusions of the Pollard report”.

    Rona Fairhead, who took over from Patten last month, was asked by Philip Davis MP at the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 21 October whether she would revisit “some of the mistakes that were seen to be made by your predecessor”.

    She was also written to by freelance journalist Miles Goslett – who made the recording to Pollard’s “mistake” admission and broke news of the BBC’s Savile story spike – on the same day. He asked that, in light of the new evidence, the report should be “amended accordingly”.

    Writing back on 10 November, Fairhead agreed that the presentation of the report should be changed on the Trust website – to highlight Pollard’s admission – but she told him it would be “wrong” to reopen it “in the absence of clear and compelling new evidence that has not been previously considered by the Trust”.

    The change made to the Trust website page linking to the report was an addition of the following message: “Following publication of the report, Nick Pollard had a conversation with a journalist regarding some information that he had not included in his report. It was suggested that this conversation raised questions about the validity of the conclusions of his review. Nick Pollard confirmed to the Trustees in an account on 10 December (PDF link) that he stood by the conclusions of his report. The Trustees considered this and were satisfied that he properly weighed all the evidence and that the conclusions of his report were unaffected. You can read the full statement published on 11 December 2013.”

    The Telegraph’s chief political commentator Peter Oborne described the tape recording evidence as “crucial” and said Fairhead’s response was “hopeless”.

    He said: “By refusing to look again at the potential evidence that the Pollard report is a cover-up, Ms Fairhead is sending out the signal that her reign will be a continuation of the moral squalor of the Patten years.

    "For all of us who believe in and support the BBC this is very worrying.”

    A BBC Trust spokesperson said: "The Chairman has studied the Pollard report and the background to it.

    "She has also looked at the questions subsequently raised over the way Mr Pollard dealt with some evidence and is satisfied that those questions were fully and properly considered and dealt with by the Trust in December last year.

    "The Chairman has made clear that in the absence of any new evidence, it would be wholly inappropriate to re-open the case.

    "However Ms Fairhead has addressed concerns that it might not have been clear to readers of the report that Mr Pollard had conceded he should have made reference to this evidence, by publishing information about the consideration of this issue alongside the report."

     


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