Richard Bacon Twitter Update

In a recent blog post I drew attention to some anti-Sarah Palin tweets from the BBC’s Richard Bacon, and said that I thought the BBC would “follow ITN’s example and issue Twitter rules for its employees”.

Bacon was asked about the BBC’s attitude to his Twitter influence on Saturday’s Adam and Joe Show. He responded:

“They’re going to check what I write before I put it up there, which will be a bit strange and a bit difficult.”

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11 Responses to Richard Bacon Twitter Update

  1. ryan says:

    I have been corresponding with the BBC on this. Apparently they will be releasing new guidelines in the new year.

    I think the solution is quite simple. Here’s a few of the steps I would take in addition to the existing guidelines.

    1. Ban the advertising of all personal twitter accounts on all BBC outlets.
    2. Prohit the use of personal twitter accounts in soliciting content for BBC programming or research purposes, so that it may not be seen as an authorised, acceptable or defacto communication channel for any corrspondance with BBC staff.
    3. Prohibit the inclusion of BBC branding, including the names, logos and brand imagery on all personal twitter accounts.

    [1-3 will clearly distinguish between personal and professional accounts, leaving people free to do what they wish with their personal accounts — the BBC seems unwilling to take these steps at present]

    4. Insist all BBC accounts are prefaced with “BBC”, eg. BBClaurak.
    5. Insure a directive that all BBC twitter accounts are subject to the same editorial guidelines as all other BBC outlets.
    6. Mandate that the BBC Social Media Editor approve all Twitter accounts and that they are regularly monitored by editorial staff.

    What we have now is an unregulated communications channel, outside of the reach of the BBC editorial guidelines, promoted on the BBC, and open to exploitation and bias.


    • D B says:

      Interesting suggestions Ryan. I’m a bit more relaxed about it than you. Those involved in news reporting (as Bacon is) should be trusted not to abuse their privileged positions; if they’re too immature to recognise the need for impartiality (as Bacon has been) then they should be forced to undergo the embarrassment of having their tweets pre-screened. Otherwise, let them get on with it. Monitoring all BBC tweets would simply create another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.


      • ryan says:

        DB it’s bad enough that the blue peter presenter/dj is on a news station in a prime daypart during and election year but we’re also relying on him to provide incisive balanced interviews with newsmakers and policticians of all hues next year. This type of bias needs to be stamped out before it gets worse. It’s bad enough he has been promoting his personal Twitter account up to over 1,000,000 followers by constantly promoting it on 5Live, but now to also flout the BBC guidelines it’s a step too far.

        It’s time it stopped.


  2. ryan says:

    FYI, Head of BBC Online has confirmed in an email to me that he “can confirm that BBC people using Twitter do fall under BBC editorial rules”.


  3. Martin says:

    99% of what Bacon Twitters is utter shite anyway. He really is an arsehole.

    I do agree though that private beeboid Twitters should probably be banned.


  4. Wally Greeninker says:

    Sarah Fogerty announced that she waned to start twittering on Radio 5 this morning and told Nikki Campbell she would need his advice. He replied something along the lines that they would soon have her doing it ‘within the guidelines, of course.’ It seems to be something of a talking point among twittering beeboids at the moment.


    • Martin says:

      I think you mean Shelagh or whatever her name is. Campbell is another stupid camp beeboid devoid of any talent.


  5. Wally Greeninker says:

    oops – sorry about that


  6. John Horne Tooke says:

    Let them Twitter all they like – when the day comes to press home the bias of these so-called “impartial” broadcasters, they could be usefull.


    • AndyUk06 says:

      My thoughts entirely. Let them get on with I say, and allow Richard Bacon to continue being an arse. 


  7. Martin says:

    Bacon just been prattling on about his meeting with the one eyed mong and his wife. I think he came in his trousers.