Acting Bbc News Director Tries To Muzzle Staff Over Scandals
The BBC's decision-making ability came in for renewed criticism today (Wednesday) after it was disclosed that the person appointed temporarily to fill the position of news director attempted to put a lid on the two current scandals embroiling the public broadcaster by asking the staff not to discuss it publicly. As reported by the London Telegraph, Acting News Director Fran Unsworth said in a message to staff, It would be helpful if some of our problems were not played out publically [sic] across social media and in the pages of the national press. Unsworth's message was issued as one of her first instructions to staff after taking over the post from Helen Boaden, who was asked to step aside while the two scandals are being investigated. In one, editors of the BBC's flagship newsmagazine Newsnight aborted a planned feature that would have disclosed that its recently deceased host Jimmy Savile had sexually abused numerous children. In the second, the program accused a prominent British politician of pedophilia, only to retract the accusation a few days later when its source for the report disclosed that the politician was not the person who abused him. The circle-the-wagons defense brought stinging criticism from Mark Detre, internal communications manager for Vodafone, who wrote on his blog, I've worked with leaders who want to stop staff talking about certain topics, in the hope that their thoughts, ideas and feelings on that topic will magically disappear. They don't.