Letter: BBC's reputation for truth deserves a better guardian

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The Independent Online
I AGREE with so much of what Neal Ascherson wrote in 'Why we are right to expect more from the BBC' (21 March). Had the financial intricacies of his company involved a politician I would have batted no more than half an eyelid. But the BBC? I can remember when, as a young typist in the British Embassy in Moscow in 1955-56, we used to take it in turns to try to transcribe the news in spite of relentless Soviet jamming. I can still recall the sense of reassurance and comfort, of something reliable and apparently indestructible in the speaker's voice as I played the tape over and over again trying to decipher the words.

Men and women have risked their freedom and their lives, and perhaps still do, to listen to the BBC. Would they do that if it were not for its reputation for truth and integrity?

Those who place themselves as guardians of the efficiency as well as of the reputation of the BBC, both at home and abroad, should do all in their power to guard and maintain that reputation. I am quite happy to be called a failure, nonentity, or psychopathically envious time-server, but the Director-General of the BBC should, like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion. The BBC is not perfect but it is unique and deserves better.

M-J Hill

London SW5

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