MPs have criticised the BBC for rehiring Martin Bashir despite knowing of his deceit in obtaining an interview with Diana, Princess of Wales https://t.co/PkwPXQY9CR
— The Times (@thetimes) May 22, 2021
This could be the BBC’s “Phone-hacking moment” is one of the comments I have heard following the backlash against the BBC Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995.
The fallout continues, with Martin Bashir, making an apology of sorts in an exclusive newspaper interview over the weekend.
But there are wider issues here and two questions which need to be answered urgently:
- Why did the BBC re-hire Martin Bashir as Religious Affairs Correspondent in 2016?
- Is this the tip of the iceberg? How many more BBC interviews have been secured in breach of BBC Guidelines?
Has trust in the BBC been eroded?
The BBC is at the heart of serious journalism, not just in this country but throughout the world.
Social media challenges serious journalism globally, because there is little or no “fact checking” or Guidelines in place. Anyone can write virtually anything – unchallenged on Social Media, but people still tune in to the BBC for a more trustworthy representation of “truth”, accuracy and what is really happening in the world.
The whole Bashir affair is in danger of eroding the “aura” of trust which the BBC still has to this day. This needs to be restored.
Call for Root and Branch Investigation into BBC Investigative Journalism
Director General Tim Davie has done the right thing in coming out and saying he accepts the findings of the Dyson Report in full. He now needs to carry that through by asking Lord Dyson to undertake a root and branch investigation into all aspects of investigative journalism undertaken by the BBC – at all levels.
Otherwise the whole BBC is could suffer, with the reputations of other TV and Radio programmes tarnished by what happened 25 years ago.
Andrew Carapiet is Director and Co-Founder of media training consultancy Media Friendly, www.mediafriendly.org