for diverse, democratic and accountable media

Blog posts from Meirion Jones

The BBC, Savile and investigations

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In a week when the BBC has been hit by yet more scandal as a result of suppressing an investigation into the notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile, we ask: does the BBC need an investigations unit?

The BBC has more journalists than any other media outlet in Britain, but out of those 4,000 men and women, yes 4,000, precisely none of them work in an investigations unit. The Sunday Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Mail have far less journalists between them but they all maintain centralized investigations units.

At the same time the BBC thinks it right to employ between 150 and 200 press officers. Yes, the BBC’s budget is being squeezed mercilessly, but it is about priorities. Newspaper hacks are judged by their ability to find news. They complain that many BBC journalists go through whole careers without breaking a story.

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Freedom of Information at risk?
Hard-won 'rights to know' might be restricted by future expenditure cuts in Whitehall and campaigners fear the Freedom of Information Act could become a target for efficiency savings. Listen to our latest podcast about threats to FOI, with Nicholas Jones.
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