How Goodall Spectacularly Broke BBC’s Impartiality Guidelines mdi-fullscreen

The BBC press office is being quite evasive even by their standards, we have got from them that Goodall’s New Statesman piece was apparently signed off by his superiors. They claim the blanket ban post-Hutton on BBC journalists writing about political controversies has been rescinded. The BBC press office further claims, with a straight face, that Goodall’s piece isn’t controversial.

All we got on the record from the BBC press office on the record is the following:

“It’s a piece of journalistic analysis, based on evidence, that holds to account the handling of examinations by all of the political parties that govern the UK.”

The piece spectacularly breaches the BBC’s own guidelines on impartiality on three grounds; it expresses strong views, advocates against a policy and exhorts a change in policy.

  • The claim that “a government led by technocrats nearly destroyed a generation of social mobility” is a strong and controversial view.
  • Expresses the view that “even if a set of algorithms could ever predict with ­certainty how an individual might perform then, for reasons of politics and, yes, morality, they probably shouldn’t.” A clear statement of self-defined – by Goodall – political and moral opinion.
  • Expresses the view that the exams crisis “demonstrates the weaknesses of this form of technocracy” and is evidence that the data driven government as espoused by Dominic Cummings is a flawed “dataocracy”.

The whole article’s thrust implicitly advocates a change in government policy. That is not appropriate from the supposedly neutral policy editor at BBC Newsnight. Goodall should resign. Or be fired.

mdi-tag-outline New Statesman Newsnight
mdi-account-multiple-outline Lewis Goodall
mdi-timer August 20 2020 @ 17:10 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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