Guardian US Boss Out After a Year

CEO of Guardian US Michael Bloom has quit. He had only been in the job for just over a year but Guardian Media Group have today announced he “will leave the company to pursue other opportunities”. No replacement has been lined up so new deputy chief executive David Pemsel is brought in to cover. It’s only the US market after all. Axe-wielding GMG CEO Andrew Miller insists the company is “firing on all cylinders”. Well quite…

Guardian Poach Jon Swaine From Telegraph

MediaGuido understands the mass exodus at the Telegraph continues, with another big name jumping ship. Jon Swaine, the paper’s Washington correspondent, has handed in his notice and is lined up to be heading to the Guardian.

Does anyone ever leave the Guardian for the Telegraph?

Guardian Advertises for Unpaid Interns
After Claiming Exploitation is “Ruining Journalism”

The Guardian has been a vocal campaigner in sticking up for unpaid interns. Their pages have played host to an endless list of articles making clear where the paper stands. “Join the fight against unpaid internships”, they have urged“We shouldn’t have to work for free”, argued another piece. One article described unpaid internships as “institutional exploitation”, another claimed they are “unfair and open to abuse by vested interests”. Earlier this year the Guardian ran a brave piece arguing “unpaid internships and a culture of privilege are ruining journalism”. Strong words.

Today the Guardian is advertising for a limited number of editorial experience internships for next year. Successful applicants will be “getting involved in editorial activities”, so there is no dispute that they will be doing real work. For which, so say the Guardian’s own comment pages again and again, they deserve a fair wage. So how much is the Guardian offering?

“These placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Culture, Media & Sport Committee MP: Patten Must Quit
Second Member Slams ‘Contemptuous’ and ‘Lofty’ Lord
Third Member: “Time He Gave Some Answers”

After waiting ten months to admit that it would be ‘preferable’ for a different version of the Pollard Review into the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal to have been published, the Chairman of the BBC Trust is now facing calls to resign. Philip Davies, an MP on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has called on Patten to walk:

“The last shred of credibility that Lord Patten had as Chairman of the BBC Trust has now gone and I think he should go.”

Another member of the committee, Conor Burns, who questioned Patten on this in October, adds:

“The Pollard report and the appointment of Tony Hall as Director General of the BBC was meant to allow the BBC to draw a line under a discreditable period in the BBC’s recent history. Yet myself and others on the Culture Select committee have repeatedly pressed Lord Patten and Tony Hall on the matter of Helen Boaden’s submissions to Polland and why they were excluded from the report. My questions were treated at best with lofty disdain and at worst as if I were just an irritant. The stone walling has now resulted in a completely avoidable questioning of trust in the BBC Trust and their handling of this matter. It may be excusable if there were not repeated warnings from MPs that the BBC could not move on until all information was fully in the public domain. The Trust and the Director General now have very serious questions to answer – not least why did they not answer questions to a Parliamentary committee when they clearly had the information to do so. It is not my role to call for resignations but it is to demand answers to questions that were posed and contemptuously ignored. I hope the Culture Committee will afford Lord Patten an opportunity to answer them very quickly before this episode yet again engulfs the BBC in yet another avoidable crisis of trust.”

The BBC say they are “not getting into numbers” over the amount of media requests that Patten has turned down in the last 24 hours, but it seems he will not be able to run away from scrutiny for long…

UPDATE: Another CMS committee MP, Angie Bray, who was Patten’s PA when he was Tory chairman and questioned Patten on this in April, calls for him to explain himself to parliament:

“I challenged Chris Patten on this issue at the select committee hearing on 25 April and he was very, very adamant then that there was nothing more to be said about it. I felt dissatisfied with the response I got then and it now seems at last that the BBC has woken up to it. It’s time that Chris Patten gave some answers. I think it would be right for Chris Patten to come and answer questions in front of our committee. I was always dissatisfied with the answers I got from Chris Patten back in April. I thought he gave very evasive answers in April. We need to get to the bottom of this and the best way of doing that is for Chris Patten to come and speak to our committee.”

WATCH: Mandela Memorial Signer Speaks

Good Morning Mark Thompson, Anything to Say?

In order to stop Lord Patten hiding behind legal threats yesterday, Guido did not publish part of the Pollard tape that the Chairman of the BBC Trust claimed was libellous and had used to threaten Tory MP Rob Wilson. It was separate to Pollard admitting that he made mistakes and that his report was flawed.

With no excuse, the plan worked and the BBC Trust were forced to comment just ten months after the flaws in the Pollard Review were first highlighted. The allegation that Mark Thompson ‘lied’ was run by the Telegraph this morning and will make for interesting reading in New York over breakfast.

The fact that evidence that from Helen Boaden, in direct contrast to Thompson’s, was not in included in the final Pollard Review allowed the former BBC boss to take up his job as the Chief Executive of the New York Times. He had supposedly been fully cleared and vindicated. Just two months later, the man who had cleared him was agreeing with journalists that Thompson was a liar:

Journalist: I also think it’s a fascinating insight that the instinct of Thompson according to Boaden’s version which you’ve just told me was to lie about this. That tells you a lot about the man.
Nick Pollard: Yes. Well…yeah…
Journalist: I was always told you don’t lie.
Nick Pollard: I think that’s right. There’s no doubt he painted himself into a corner.

Grey faces at the Grey Lady today.

Newsnight on BBC Trust Pollard Whitewash

Paxman described Guido publishing the Pollard tape yesterday as “like stepping in dog poo on your way to Buckingham Palace” on Newsnight. He was damning of the BBC whitewash of the tape, noting that on the day they published their corporate governance report vowing greater accountability and transparency, “it doesn’t show transparency that’s for sure“.

Lord Patten read about the failings in the Pollard Review in February. Rob Wilson told him explicitly about them in August. Patten told Parliament there was nothing wrong in October. He was played the tape in November and now finally, halfway through December, he tries to instigate another whitewash. Why?

Video via Liarpoliticians

Tory MP Rob Wilson Slams Patten Statement
“A Cynically-Timed” Attempt to “Cover Lord Patten’s Back”

Tory MP Rob Wilson is not very happy with the BBC Trust statement:

The BBC Trust’s statement is a cynically-timed attempt to kill a growing story and cover Lord Patten’s back.

The issue has never been whether or not Nick Pollard judged that Mark Thompson was unaware of the Savile allegations while he was Director-General of the BBC. That is not what he wrote in the Pollard Inquiry report. The issue is whether there was, as Nick Pollard concluded, ‘no reason to doubt’ that Thompson knew nothing of the Savile allegations.

Having acknowledged the existence of Helen Boaden’s testimony that she informed Thompson that Savile had been investigated for sexual abuse, a direct contradiction of Thompson’s version of events, both the BBC Trust and Pollard continue to stand by his finding that there was zero reason to doubt Thompson’s account. The only logical implication of this is that they regard Helen Boaden, then the BBC’s most senior female executive, as an inferior and less credible witness than Mr Thompson.

This is a baffling, indeed worrying position that neither Pollard or the BBC Trust have attempted to explain. They must do so without delay. If they are right, it raises serious questions about Ms. Boaden’s fitness to continue as the BBC’s Head of Radio.

Until Pollard and the Trust fully address the issue rather than try to dodge it, it will remain apparent that the Pollard Review contains a major error which Mr Pollard freely acknowledges in his unguarded private conversations, but shamefully refuses to own up to in public.

It appears, despite a terrible 12 months, the BBC Trust has learnt nothing about openness and transparency and continues to behave like an organisation accountable only to itself.

Newsnight are on the case. Lets hope there’s not another cover up…

Another BBC Whitewash From Patten
Nick Pollard Sorry for “Genuine Conversation”

Nick Pollard has written to the BBC Trust to apologise for telling a journalist that his report into the Jimmy Savile scandal was flawed and that he made ‘a mistake’ by not including key evidence that Mark Thompson had been […]

+ READ MORE +

Court Hears Piers Told Rebekah He Listened to Her Messages

The latest from the Old Bailey this afternoon, as legal adviser Ambi Sitham gives evidence:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Patten Laments Loss of Trust in BBC (With a Straight Face)

Lord Patten has surfaced in the comfort of the Guardian. Writing about the BBC governance shake up, Fat Pang claims:

“People clearly love and value the BBC’s programmes; we know this because they keep watching them. But it’s not

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive: The Tape Lord Patten Does Not Want You to Hear

Lord Patten yesterday threatened legal action against anyone publishing this audio recording. Guido is regardless publishing the bombshell tape recording of Pollard Review chairman Nick Pollard confessing that he made a ‘mistake’ by excluding key evidence about former BBC chief […]

+ READ MORE +



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