Kate Adie hits out at management style of the BBC

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The Independent Online
As she prepares to go to the Gulf, the BBC's chief news correspondent, Kate Adie, has launched a scathing attack on her bosses for being better versed in American-style management-speak than in the practicalities of broadcasting.

In an interview with the trade journal Press Gazette to mark 30 years in broadcasting, she said a "huge division" had developed between the people who run the corporation and those who make programmes.

"There is undoubtedly now a management [at the BBC] ... which actually wouldn't know how to broadcast if it was put up against a wall and you said you were going to shoot them," she said. "It's a fashion... At the moment we are into a rather Americanised management obsession. I read memos and I am rather ashamed by some of the management-speak that knocks around this building."

This is the second time in a week that BBC mandarins have been subjected to such criticism by a senior employee. The head of drama serials, Michael Wearing, said he was quitting the corporation in disgust at both its commercialization and its "sub LA-style" approach to management.

But Ms Adie told The Independent yesterday that she did not intend to quit. "I'm perfectly happy. If I weren't I would be out of the place," she said in response to suggestions that she is increasingly frustrated by her less frequent screen appearances. She acknowledges that it is tougher to get on the Six or Nine O'Clock News with foreign stories because of the growing number of correspondents which the BBC employs to cover domestic events, but even global news service CNN could not lure her away with a much bigger salary.

"I don't personally find myself impeded in my work in any way," she said. "But I do observe what's going on in this organisation and I do worry about young people coming into it. I was brought into an organisation where public service was absolutely paramount. But this is a corporation where the business ethic is becoming increasingly important. In journalism you need people above you with the highest standards and principles."