BBC caves in to complaints

The BBC reports that its governors have caved in to pressure from hundreds of “listeners” and found that a From Our Own Correspondent report on the final departure of Yasir Arafat from Ramallah breached its guidelines. One might note that the report on the governors’ decision lacks any link to the original report (which is still there), nor even to the FOOC home page. There is serious cowardice on display here; it perhaps reflects on the organisation’s timidity, remarked on in both the New Statesman and the Spectator in the past few weeks (the reports will have been removed from free view), which has been brought on by the Hutton report. Personally I can see how the reference to the author’s personal emotions was out of the ordinary for the BBC, but it could only have provoked hundreds of complaints if a group of people who had an axe to grind decided to organise a letter-writing campaign.

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