BBC shooting the messenger

I have severe reservations about why Peter Fincham, the controller of BBC One, has had to lose his job.

He claimed at a briefing for journalist that a forthcoming documentary would show the Queen storming out from a portrait sitting when he was unaware that the production company had cut the scenes together in a non chronological order.

Now he was right to offer an apology to the Queen on behalf of the BBC, but I am at a loss to see what he has done to deserve losing his job. Peter Fincham comes from a background in the independent production sector of the broadcasting industry, and he obviously trusted that the production would adhere to strict values of honesty. It appears that he was let down by others who failed to make the documentary in a way that was open and honest and by others who failed to check the details of the preview clips he was to talk about to journalists.

In much the same way as another producer at the BBC lost her job on Radio 6Music because she had the guts to blow the whistle on bosses that had obliged to fake phone in quiz winners, the BBC has an obsession with shooting the messenger.

As a commentator on BBC radio 5 Live said earlier, will the BBC sack someone of it is found that the hippos don't swim round in circles on the BBC idents ?

After all, if a minister can keep his job when allowing his image to be added to a publicity photograph, it seems odd that the BBC shoudl act in the way it does.


Andy W said...

And how many lost their jobs when Andrew Gilligan reported the truth?

ThunderDragon said...

He didn't have to lose his job, but it does show the government in a bad light. He accepted that the buck stopped with him, and took the fall-out.

Why have no ministers done that over the last decade?

Anonymous said...

I thought he lost his job because he allowed the 'Queen storming out' story to run in the headlines, including the BBC's, for 12 hours knowing it was untrue.