Hidden deep in the minutiae of BBC editorial policy is the so-called ‘managed risk programme list’. BBC bosses will put a programme on the risk list if they feel there are “specific editorial risks, intrinsic or reputational risks”, specifically which could “damage the reputation of the BBC”.
Airing the now infamous Newsnight Savile report would undoubtedly have posed an editorial, intrinsic and reputational risk to the BBC. Tory MP Rob Wilson has today written to George Entwistle demanding an urgent response to the charge that BBC chiefs put the Savile report on the risk list, thereby preventing it from being aired and covering it up. This is serious stuff. Did BBC bosses put the Savile report on their risk list?