As reported earlier by indiantelevision.com, the BBC has made major
gains through its coverage of the conflict. It was also reported
that Americans were increasingly turning to BBC America for news.
He also reflected on the importance of allowing the viewer to see
the whole picture saying, " We must never allow political influences
to colour our reporting or cloud our judgement. Commercial pressures
may tempt others to follow the Fox News formula of gung-ho patriotism
but for the BBC this would be a terrible mistake."
Elaborating on the differences between the way the US broadcasters
cover the news and the BBC, Dyke gave the example of a BBC interview
with the American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, by David Dimbleby.
He said, "When excerpts were played in the States, many commentators
agreed that American interviewers wouldn't have taken such a robust
approach. The aim certainly wasn't to win some intellectual battle
of wills or to trip Mr Rumsfeld up. It was all about testing his
arguments and not letting him gloss over difficult issues.
On American television today, politicians don't face that sort
of interrogation. For the health of our democracy, it's vital we
don't follow the path of many American networks and lose the will
to do this."
Recalling that at times of conflict and crisis the BBC's coverage
always comes under intense scrutiny from all sides, Dyke said: "Only
by constantly resisting any pressures which threaten our values
will we be able to maintain the trust of our audiences. That's why
we must temper the drama and competition of live, rolling news with
the considered journalism and analysis people need to make sense
Outlining the challenges raised by the recent conflict such as
more 24-hour news, the risks faced by embedded reporters and un-attributed,
unreliable information on the internet, Dyke said: "These are serious
challenges for any news organisation aiming to increase the quality
as well as the quantity if its coverage. For the BBC, as the UK's
most trusted source of news and current affairs, we have a particular
responsibility to take account of them. While seizing every opportunity
to improve the range and choice of our output, we cannot afford
to compromise on its honesty and integrity."