The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state:
...'Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth? [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world??
I think the author of this piece about Ofcom, who still haven't submitted their findings into the Newsnight McAlpine debacle, got it right when he muses: ‘Perhaps Ofcom is discovering that the truth is a little unpalatable and it is working out the best way to sell it to the public.’
Media watchdog Ofcom has been criticised for failing to publish a report into the Lord McAlpine scandal almost a year after it launched an investigation.
Last November, the controversial quango agreed to examine whether the BBC and ITV had breached rules by failing to offer the former Tory treasurer a right of reply in response to false suggestions that he was a paedophile.
Despite four staff working on the case for more than ten months, no report has appeared.
Last night Lord McAlpine’s solicitor Andrew Reid, whose original complaint triggered Ofcom’s investigation, expressed his client’s frustration at the publicly funded body’s inability to inform people of its findings.
He added: ‘Perhaps Ofcom is discovering that the truth is a little unpalatable and it is working out the best way to sell it to the public.’
Tory MP Rob Wilson, who also complained to Ofcom over the scandal, echoed Mr Reid’s comments and lambasted the organisation, which spends £117 million of public money each year.
Mr Wilson added: ‘It is pretty disgraceful that Ofcom’s investigation into one of the most serious abuses of journalism in living memory has been allowed to ramble on.’
At present, the BBC is only answerable to itself in deciding its standards and coverage. How does it measure up to what you consider good quality, and impartial and unbiased reporting as required by its charter? All TV viewers in the UK are forced by law to pay for this 'service'. Do you believe that what is received truly 'serves' the society, - or merely increases the problems within it?
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