Editorial: A blueprint for change at the BBC

 

Share
Related Topics

Once again, it is the cock-up, rather than the conspiracy, that is identified as the culprit. In his report into how and why the BBC's Newsnight programme shelved its investigation into Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse, Nick Pollard from Sky News finds no evidence of the dreaded cover-up, establishing rather that "the level of chaos and confusion was even greater than was apparent at the time". That will be some cause for relief at the BBC, as it will be for the programme's then editor, Peter Rippon.

But it should not be. Poor decision-making and an absence of effective editorial responsibility have lain behind almost everything that has gone seriously wrong at the Corporation in recent years, despite the presence of elaborate chains of highly paid executives. From the crisis triggered by Andrew Gilligan's Today report on the "sexed-up" Iraq dossier, through the "prank" phone calls of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, to the non-airing of the Jimmy Savile investigation and its aftermath, it has been hard to escape the impression that too many cooks spoil the broth or, rather, allow everyone to say they were looking the other way at the very moment the pot boiled over.

George Entwistle, the BBC's fleeting Director-General, was skewered by the singular lack of curiosity he showed about the fate of the Savile programme when he was head of "Vision". And the BBC that emerges from the Pollard report is a Corporation hedged about by layers of safeguards that prove ineffectual when they are most needed.

With Ken MacQuarrie's damning verdict on Newsnight's exposé of sexual abuse in North Wales – which he says should never have been shown – the BBC's new Director-General now has two reports before him that, in microcosm, lay bare much of what is wrong. Nor does Nick Pollard stop at a diagnosis. In what is essentially a blueprint for what must be done, he notes that change "must start with the people at the top". After his success at the Royal Opera House, this should be music to Lord Hall's ears.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project