BSkyB insists removal of website article did not challenge editorial independence


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The Independent Online

BSkyB today insisted that a decision by its chief executive to order the removal of a story about Formula 1 from the Sky News website for 40 hours did not represent a challenge to the channel’s editorial independence.

A censorship row was sparked when the article was taken down on Saturday night after the broadcaster’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch had been contacted by the BSkyB production team in Australia covering this season’s inaugural race for a new channel dedicated to the sport.

The story, which outlined a controversial deal between F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and two racing teams, was eventually republished on yesterday afternoon after quotations from a leaked document were cut back. The issue of editorial independence at Sky News remains controversial following the ill-fated attempt by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to take control of BSkyB.

A Sky News spokeswoman said: “The piece was withdrawn for further review.  We stand by the story and, following that review, took the decision to re-publish on Monday.”