Roy Greenslade first picked up on this one at the beginning of the month when he commented on how the BBC had used BNP comments in its Radio 1 Newsbeat programme, and on its site.
Now Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, has condemned the BBC’s handling of the interview and the BBC faces calls for an internal investigation after it received more than 100 complaints, MediaGuardian reports.
Meanwhile, FleetStreetBlues has some sympathy for the BBC reporter:
“The report has been criticised widely for introducing two interviewees as ‘two young guys who are members of the BNP’ without stating that they were prominent party members and one was the BNP’s publicity director.
“No, it’s not great journalism, but we’ve all done it. Interviewed a ‘Man Utd fan’ who turns out to editor the Man Utd fanzine. Quizzed a donkey-loving member of the public who turns out to run a donkey sanctuary. Sought grassroots student comment from the local student union.
“The news editor wants authentic BNP comment and he needs it by 10am? Sorry, going for comment via organisations and then dressing it up as someone we just happened to meet on the street is what reporters do. You don’t give us time for anything else.”