The BBC has investigated accusations of bullying within its own precincts.
Looking at the report it seems to be a reasonable attempt to handle the situation fairly.
However as always what the official line is and what the ‘frontline’ says are often different. We know that the BBC is by law required to be balanced and impartial. We also know that that imperative is roundly ignored at ground level. (See Biased BBC!)
Having listened on and off to the radio today I received the distinct impression that the presenters were trying to downplay this.
They reported it in depth but their conclusions were somewhat less than judgemental.
The general secretary of the NUJ was quite sure of what was happening:
“It is quite clear that bullying has become an institutionalised problem at the BBC, one that has taken hold over many years,” said Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary for the NUJ.
However I heard several times presenters state that ‘This isn’t widespread’…or ‘It’s historic’…suggesting that this wasn’t really an issue…or not a significant one.
I heard someone complain that certain newspapers would be trying to discover who the ‘untouchable stars’ were…‘pursuing the story for their own reasons.’ (No link but I think the comment was made by Lucy Adams, director of BBC Human Resources)
Well yes, that’s their job.
Can you imagine if this was a story about the Police or the Army? The BBC would be all over it.
Just look at this story from today in which the police wanted to hide the identity of one of its officers accused of theft:
‘The broad accusation from journalists is that the police are increasingly secretive and it’s becoming harder for reporters to find out what the police are doing and why.’
Slightly different case as this is one of theft but if it had been a case of bullying in the police by a senior officer the BBC would have been demanding to know who he was.