BBC Now Even Less Transparent Under Tim Davie

Guido’s old enough to remember when Tim Davie claimedeven more” transparency was vital to improving public trust in the BBC, and promised change. Unfortunately, it turns out nobody in the corporation was actually listening. According to new data from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the BBC’s average response time to FoI requests has increased from 11 to 16 days since 2019, with the number of responses within the 20 working day statutory deadline also falling by 4% in the same period. The longest response period has more than doubled, from 86 working days in 2019 to a whopping 215 working days in 2021…

Likewise, the number of requests the BBC has decided are worthy of responding to – even if only partially – has dropped from 69% to 63%. The usual excuse they like to trot out is that the information requested simply falls outside the scope of the FoI, and that “the BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.” In practice, that means it has no obligation to tell the public how much their ludicrous rebrand cost, or how much the taxpayer coughed up for a ten-part audio series and a TV documentary on Shamima Begum…

At the time of going to pixel, Tim Davie is currently in front of the Public Accounts Committee to talk about the BBC’s value for money. Worth bearing in mind…

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BBC Rules Gary Lineker’s Anti-Tory Tweet Broke Impartiality Rules

The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) has finally ruled that Gary Lineker broke impartiality rules in a tweet attacking the Tories and their apparent “Russian donors.” This is the same Gary Lineker who, according to BBC Director General Tim Davie, “understands the guidelines” and had supposedly learnt to play by the rules by now. Apparently not.

Here’s the tweet Lineker posted in February to his 8 million followers:

The ECU has now upheld the complaint against him, and declared the tweet “did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards on impartiality,” and they expect stars like Lineker “to avoid taking sides on party political issues or political controversies and to take care when addressing public policy matters.” 

Tim Davie has previously warned that those who break the BBC’s social media rules could be forced to give up their profiles. Guido would put the odds of that happening to Gary at approximately zero…

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BBC Director General Tim Davie: Gary Lineker Understands BBC Impartiality Rules

Under heavy questioning by angry Tory MPs at the DCMS Select Committee this morning, BBC Director General Tim Davie claimed he’d spoken to Gary Lineker over his government-hating tweets, which he claims has improved over his tenure, and “I think he understands the guidelines.” Guido has a bridge to sell Tim…

The questioning came after Lineker had a dust-up with fellow BBC employee Neil Henderson who slammed Lineker’s Twitter bias and correctly proclaimed the BBC “lives or dies by its impartiality”. 

Davie received a barrage of probing tweets from all parties’ MPs this morning, not least around Emily Maitlis’s recent speech that claimed there’s an “active Tory agent” at the heart of the broadcaster in the form of Sir Robbie Gibb. Davie defended Gibb as well as Jess Brammar. Tory MP Steve Brine put to the BBC executives examples of bias in the broadcaster’s news output, simultaneously proving himself a keen co-conspirator by raising plenty of Guido’s expert activist interviewees featured on BBC News without any contextualization of partisan bias. Damian Green came out with the best zinger, pointing out many of his Tory colleagues would accuse Emily Maitlis of being an “active Labour agent” inside the BBC…

mdi-timer 6 September 2022 @ 12:24 6 Sep 2022 @ 12:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Laura Kuenssberg Confirms April Departure from Political Editor Role

Kuenssberg tweets:

After nearly 7 years, in April I’m moving on from best daily reporting job + the most wonderful team in the business. It’s been an honour and an amazing ride – more to come in 2022! With love + thanks to all at @BBCPolitics

The BBC press office confirms she’ll take up a new “senior presenting and reporting role across the BBC” from Easter with further details to be announced in the new year. Tim Davie says “She’s a superb interviewer and engaging presenter, and I’m thrilled that we are keeping her on our screens and airwaves. I’m looking forward to her next chapter.” Unfortunately the replacement runners and riders were already speculated on back in October…

mdi-timer 20 December 2021 @ 12:01 20 Dec 2021 @ 12:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Davie: Brammar’s 3 Levels Down, Her 16,000 Tweet-Deletion was a “Good Thing to Do”

The BBC’s top execs wriggled under scrutiny from MPs this morning following the appointment of Jess Brammar. There were two main lines to come from the encounter: Tim Davie claimed Brammar deleting her 16,000 tweets was a “good thing to do” and emphasised that Brammar’s position was “3 levels down” in terms of seniority, not number 3 in news. He also complained that the culture war is now raging and making the BBC’s job more difficult; and Richard Sharpe saying he doesn’t think the BBC will figure out where the Robbie Gibb leak came from. Funny given everyone else can make a pretty good guess…

When asked whether Davie was still committed to diversity of thought, and how Brammar’s appointment aided that, he confessed the BBC doesn’t ask applicants their views on issues. Surely making his goal impossible…

mdi-timer 21 September 2021 @ 12:27 21 Sep 2021 @ 12:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs to Scrutinise BBC Bosses Over Jess Brammar’s Appointment

The Commons’ DCMS Committee will get an opportunity to scrutinise the BBC’s top bosses tomorrow, with the promise of tough questioning over their foot-shooting decision to hire Jess Brammar as their new executive news editor. The Committee announced on Friday MPs will be graced with the presence of Tim Davie, Richard Sharpe and Leigh Tavaziva, who will face questioning on the Director-General’s progress on his initial priorities, the licence fee and “senior editorial appointments”. Sources clarify this does mean Brammar specifically…

The Committee may also ask questions of how the news of Robbie Gibb voicing his concern over Brammar’s impending appointment made its way to the media in the first place. The process by which a board member’s concerns became public knowledge should surely be a subject of inquiry…

mdi-timer 20 September 2021 @ 09:40 20 Sep 2021 @ 09:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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