Tag Archives: panorama

Former Panorama reporter calls for ‘searching inquiry’ into Primark documentary

In an opinion piece in the Independent yesterday former chief correspondent of Panorama Tom Mangold called on the BBC to conduct a “searching inquiry into why its system of firewalls broke down”, in reference to last week’s finding of the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee that certain footage within a Panorama documentary was “more likely that not”, not genuine.

The BBC was ordered to make an on-air apology after a Panorama documentary about retail outlet Primark was found to have breached editorial guidelines on accuracy and fairness. The ESC said it had examined a “substantial body of evidence”, including rushes tapes, emails to the programme team from the freelance journalist who obtained the footage and witness evidence, in relation to a specific piece of footage which appeared in the film.

Although it admitted it was not able to say beyond reasonable doubt, the committee concluded that it was more likely than not that the footage was not genuine.

Writing in the Independent Mangold claimed the delay in this admission has caused “an editorial catastrophe”.

It is only now, three years after the programme was broadcast, that the BBC Trust has forced Panorama to admit the error of its ways. In the meantime, the BBC’s arrogant refusal to admit it was wrong has resulted in an editorial catastrophe not only for Panorama, the flagship, but for all the corporation’s journalism.

I joined Panorama from Fleet Street, where none of us had entirely clean hands. We coloured our stories as much as we could and thought nothing of doing things our editors never wanted to hear about. But, whatever we did, we never lied, deceived or made stories up. It was the short cut to the dole. And if a story wasn’t good enough or couldn’t be made to work – then there was always another round the corner. I know what it means to have to deliver with a tiny budget, but I also know when to give up.

Read more here…

Related:

Panorama documentary found in serious breach of accuracy and fairness rules

Greenslade: Why the BBC Trust was wrong to find against Panorama

Yesterday we reported on the BBC Trust ruling that Panorama had broken editorial guidelines of fairness and accuracy in its programme Primark: On The Rack.

The BBC was ordered to make an on-air apology over the documentary, which was broadcast in June 2008, after the Trust said the programme contained footage that was likely not genuine.

Roy Greenslade said the Trust’s decision was “baffling”.

It goes against natural justice to find against the journalist and producers on what it calls “the balance of probabilities.”

Dan McDougall is an intrepid, award-winning investigative reporter with a superb record in exposing human rights violations.

Frank Simmonds is an experienced producer who has been responsible for many important revelatory Panorama programmes.

Yet this so-called judgment – which requires the corporation to apologise for the documentary – puts a black mark against their names on the most tenuous of grounds.

Having studied the report, I believe the Trust has got this wholly wrong.

Full post on Greenslade’s blog at this link.

BBC: ‘We do use private detectives occasionally and exceptionally but never illegally’

The BBC’s director of editorial policy and standards David Jordan this week revealed that the broadcaster does use private detectives “occasionally and exceptionally” to help with programmes, but stressed that it is not aware of any BBC programme ever having commissioned a private detective to carry out illegal activity.

His comments on the BBC Editors blog followed this interview in the Sun this week, in which a private detective who was featured in Tabloid Hacks Exposed on Panorama this week, reportedly claimed he had previously worked as an inquiry agent for the documentary series.

In a statement, published here by Jon Slattery, the BBC responded to say it had searched archives dating back 25 years and can find no record of the programme described ever being broadcast.

Seeking to clarify the BBC’s stance Jordan said the broadcaster has used private detectives in some cases, such as for consumer programmes which aim to expose “rogues” and wrongdoing.

We might employ third parties to carry out the necessary surveillance to find out where they are and where they might be approached and, on occasion, to obtain a photograph of them. Usually we track down individuals we want to speak to ourselves. But in very hard cases we might employ the specialist skills of a private detective to help us find someone.

He added that the editorial guidelines are clear: intrusions into privacy need a strong public interest justification.

Suggestions that the BBC might use private investigators for political stories are wide of the mark and those who are “genuinely surprised the BBC used private investigators to stand up stories” should remain surprised. The BBC validates and stands up its own journalism wherever facts and information come from.

Panorama to accuse News of the World of hacking emails

BBC Panorama will tonight broadcast new allegations of wrongdoing at the News of the World, this time claiming emails were hacked into by a private detective and then obtained by a former senior executive at the paper.

The documentary, due to be aired at 8.30pm tonight, claims to expose “the full extent of the ‘dark arts’ employed across the industry to get their story”.

The programme reveals a dishonourable history of law breaking that went beyond phone hacking and questions the police inaction that let it continue.

In a statement released in response to the allegations, News International said that to date Panorama has not provided it with evidence to support the claims.

If Panorama has evidence that illegal acts were actually commissioned by this newspaper then we urge them to supply this information so we can properly investigate it. As recent events show we will not tolerate misconduct by staff. The overarching principle is that we work in the public interest, within the PCC’s code of conduct and the law.

The former executive claims the allegations are untrue, according to the BBC.

Guardian: Jeremy Vine to quit Panorama

Presenter of the BBC One’s Panorama Jeremy Vine will be leaving the show at the end of the year, according to a report by the Guardian.

When Vine steps down – after four years with the programme – the show will continue without a regular presenter.

Last month Journalism.co.uk reported on an investigation into corruption within FIFA by freelance sports journalist Andrew Jennings which was broadcast by Panorama and prompted an inquiry by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) into the claims.

The broadcast was criticised by some viewers for its timing, just before a meeting in Zurich where FIFA announced the host of the 2018 World Cup. But Panorama’s editors defended the investigation.

Tom Giles made editor of Panorama

Tom Giles has been appointed editor of Panorama, the BBC announced today. Giles, who is currently an executive producer for BBC current affairs, will replace Sandy Smith who joins The One Show as executive editor.

Giles joined the BBC in 1991 as an assistant producer on World Service Radio. He has since worked on a number of different current affairs programmes for the organisation including Newsnight, Horizon, and Panorama.

IN 2004 his programme In The Line of Fire won the RTS International Current Affairs award, and he won a BAFTA for Andrew Marr’s History Of Modern Britain.

Giles said:

“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead one of the greatest brands in British TV journalism and delighted to able to put something back into a programme which has enabled me to do so many things.

“It’s still right at the heart of the BBC One schedule and – with 48 half-hour and eight hour-slots a year – it’s a fantastic opportunity to really make a difference.”

Watch again: BBC Panorama – ‘The Death of Kiss and Tell’

Last night’s Panorama on privacy law and its threat to journalism is available on BBC iPlayer at this link. BBC news story at this link. From the Panorama site:

… “it is not only kiss and tell stories that are under threat, and editors fear serious investigative journalism could be jeopardised; Panorama investigates this growing trend.”


BBC crime journalism: Visual innovation from BBC News on teen murder mapping / Panorama faces allegations for paying teenager to brandish gun

BBC’s Panorama programme faced allegations last week that a fixer had paid a teenager to wield a gun for a documentary film.

The Liverpool Echo reported:

“A teenage gang member was paid £50 by a ‘fixer’ to flaunt guns for a BBC programme, a court heard.”

The BBC has denied the allegations, and Merseyside Police are to further investigate the claims made in court.

Meanwhile, in a more positive look at the BBC’s crime journalism, Tracy Boyer praises its package designed to map UK’s teen murder toll: ‘great use of data visualization in this latest project,’ she says.

“BBC’s package is divided into four sections: a text overview, the database of victims, victim-map mashup, and a slew of statistics.”