Television

BBC DG Thompson dismisses reports that Beeb softening news

MUMBAI: In an email to the staff of UK pubcaster BBC DG Mark Thompson has said reports that the corporation's journalists are being muzzled to win government favour are utterly false.

He said, "There are reports in The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Daily Mail following up on an article by John Kampfner in the New Statesman which are so utterly false and misleading that I really can't let them stand uncorrected. Using the recent row about John Humphrys as its 'evidence', the pieces claim that the BBC is muzzling its journalism in an effort to keep government ministers happy. That is completely false and, indeed, utter nonsense.

"There has not been a single example of me, Mark Byford, any of the other senior editors of the BBC, the BBC chairman or anyone else inside the BBC trying to censor or soften anything. On the contrary, we all emphasise the need for the BBC's journalism to be robust, courageous and right. I can't relate the claim of a 'loss of nerve' with the reality of the way we're reporting the news at all."

Thompson gave the recent example of British Prime Minister Tony Blair making it very clear that he was unhappy with some of our coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. "He's every right to think whatever he wants about BBC journalism. If I'd thought the criticism was warranted I would have said so. In fact, I've defended our coverage to the hilt – I thought it was outstanding."

The newspaper reports came after a New Statesman article by editor John Kampfner, a former BBC journalist, alleged that BBC chairman Michael Grade had wanted to make an example of Humphrys to placate Downing Street. Kampfner claimed that Grade and Thompson only changed their minds about sacking Humphrys when newspapers supported the BBC Radio 4 Today presenter.

In his e-mail Thompson said the claim was "a straightforward lie" as he and the chairman had only discussed launching an inquiry into Humphrys' speech. "The only executive the Chairman spoke to was me. He did not order me to 'sack' or in any other way discipline or admonish John Humphrys. Like me, at this point he had no idea whether the story in the press was true or what its context was. He phoned me to say he intended to put out a short statement saying that he would be asking me to report back to him and the other Governors on the story in due course. I told him that I would be asking Mark Byford, as our Head of Journalism, to look into the whole matter and in particular to hear John Humphrys' own account of what had happened.

"The New Statesman claims that 'instructions' have been issued from the top of the BBC to 'do anything to win back the favour of ministers and do nothing to offend'. Untrue – and preposterous. I'd love to see such instructions. Does anyone seriously imagine that I or anyone else could as much as hint at this kind of political bias without the British public finding out in about three milliseconds?

"And they're not instructions I would ever want to issue anyway. I am as fiercely committed to our editorial independence as any other BBC journalist. So, too, is Mark Byford, whom I've known and trusted for years. So too Helen and all the other members of her senior editorial team. Now there are many other untruths and distortions in the piece, but you get the point. The 'facts' in the piece were not checked with us (if they had been checked, the piece wouldn't have appeared), nor were we given a chance to respond to it.

"Bizarrely, I saw the piece's author, John Kampfner, at the party at the Labour conference he refers to in his article. He told me then that he thought we'd played 'a complete blinder on Humphrys'. How he squares that remark with his subsequent article I simply don't know. The original Humphrys story felt like a malicious attempt to undermine the BBC's journalism from one direction. This New Statesman piece feels like an equally malicious attempt to undermine it from a different direction. "

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/28/V-NAAIDU-800X800.JPG?itok=uW3cHCJ-
Content with subtitles on India, Ukraine pubcasters discussed

MUMBAI: India and Ukraine have agreed to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the twocountries through the medium of Cinema. The cooperation would be worked out through a policy and institutional framework to showcase films through the medium of Film Festivals and utilizing the Film...

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/28/entertainment.jpg?itok=lpRvLERa
Politics interferes with entertainment, channel coerced into pulling out particular content

MUMBAI: The film wing of a regional political party claimed that it has ‘forced’ a TV channel not to telecast content which it felt was insulting Shivaji Maharaj. MNS film wing's Amey Khopkar told PTI that he wrote to the channel, warning them against telecasting the programme which showed Shivaji...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/28/GauravBanerjee%20and%20Narayan%20Sundararaman.jpg?itok=RX2RgIMq
Star Plus gambles with afternoon programming in the run-up to IPL

MUMBAI: Star Plus is not only known for experimenting and being bold with its content but also with its time slots. It was the first Indian GEC which turned the prime time clock back by launching Sasural Genda Phool and Saath Nibhana Saathiya in the 7pm band more than half a decade ago.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/28/Supriya-Sahu.jpg?itok=fM4G8zWg
Efficient management: DD implements online scheduling, billing & payment

MUMBAI: Doordarshan has implemented the Broadcast Air Time Traffic Scheduler (BATS) for online commercial scheduling & billing as well as for payment through SBI gateway.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/28/inside%281%29.jpg?itok=a4cQPdmr
Tarun Katial's big magic with Big Ganga

MUMBAI: A takeover is in progress. Yet, that is not getting in the way of television veteran Tarun Katial. For him, it is business as usual. The CEO of Reliance Broadcast Networks Ltd, who cut his teeth as a media professional in the early part of his career, is pleased as punch. The reason: RBNL'...

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/27/pete%20%281%29.jpg?itok=JX1h2Zuu
Pete Holmes makes his way to Star World Premiere HD with 'Crashing'

Star World Premiere HD, India’s leading English entertainment channel is known for handpicking some of the most award-winning, star-studded and critically acclaimed shows on television today. Taking its entertainment quotient a notch higher, the channel that exclusively airs comedy series - Emmy...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/27/gaurav-banerjee%20%281%29.jpg?itok=PWD8w9tN
Star Plus Dopahar launched with original, diverse and differentiated content

MUMBAI: Star Plus has announced Star Plus Dopahar, an afternoon time-band (12:30 to 3 pm) on television, with a spectrum of original, diverse and differentiated content. In a category with fierce competition, Star Plus, as the leader, has always anchored change by redefining the rules of the game....

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/27/ZMCL.jpg?itok=tztHeWVf
Zee Media to seek shareholder nod to demerge DNA print business

MUMBAI: Print and TV news. For some that would make for a heady combination. But, not for the Essel group-promoted Zee Media Corp Ltd (ZMCL) which runs the Zee News channels as well as the newspaper DNA through a clutch of unlisted subsidiaries. DNA has a print edition in Mumbai and has launched in...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/02/27/BARC-Dil%20Bole%20Oberoi.jpg?itok=-FGXNpmK
Five TV shows that impressed in week 7 of BARC

MUMBAI: Indian TV audience is like the spectators who took part in deciding the fate of a gladiator who lost a duel in the infamous Roman games encouraged by many a Ceaser. Thumbs down meant death; thumbs up meant the vanquished could live on – to entertain them another day.

Television TV Channels Viewership

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories