Friday, November 28th-7.8°C
24124
24056

BBC faces extraordinary crisis

The bungling of reports that powerful Britons sexually abused children has thrown one of the largest and most respected broadcasters in the world into a deep crisis.

It is hard to overstate the importance of the BBC in British society; its influence stretches throughout the former British empire and beyond. Over the years, the BBC has been behind almost all of the U.K.'s broadcast milestones, serving as a voice for the British nation. Its airwaves have carried the clanging of Big Ben's bells, wartime messages from Winston Churchill, and the music of the Beatles, exporting British culture to a global audience.

The head of the BBC's governing body called Sunday for an overhaul of the broadcaster.

WHAT HAPPENED:

Last month, the BBC drew fire after it emerged its "Newsnight" program had shelved an investigation into child sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile, the broadcaster's renowned TV host who died last year.

Police say that since their investigation started they have received complaints from some 300 victims of the platinum-haired, tracksuit-wearing Savile and associates, and that some of the abuse may have occurred on BBC premises. Questions soon arose over whether shelving the "Newsnight" piece was part of a coverup or if BBC managers had heard of but ignored claims of abuse by Savile while he was hosting such shows as "Top of the Pops."

Amid public outrage, BBC director general George Entwistle announced internal inquiries into why the "Newsnight" investigation was canned as well as the BBC's "culture and practices" during the years Savile worked there.

But then, "Newsnight" wrongly implicated a British politician of sex-abuse claims on a program that aired Nov. 2.

The BBC didn't name the alleged abuser, but online rumours focused on Alistair McAlpine, a Conservative Party member. On Friday, McAlpine issued a fierce denial, and shortly after, the abuse victim interviewed by "Newsnight" admitted he had mistakenly identified his abuser.

The BBC apologized for airing the program, which Entwistle said he had not been made aware of. That stance drew incredulity from politicians and media watchers wondering if he was out of touch or inept. The criticism reached fever pitch, and Entwistle decided to resign Saturday. A day later, Chris Patten, the head of the BBC's governing body, called for a "thorough, radical structural overhaul" of the broadcaster.

HOW BIG IS IT?

Today, the organization says it reaches a weekly audience of 166 million people globally over multiple platforms, including radio, digital satellite and cable channels.

The BBC boasts 10 national TV channels in addition to regional U.K. programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and a website which averages 3.6 billion hits a month.

Its commercial arm, BBC World News, broadcasts 24 hours a day in more than 200 countries and territories.

Under pressure from critics to justify its $5.6 billion budget in a time of austerity, the BBC in recent years has undergone a series of job cuts, cuts to operations and unpopular changes to employee pension programs.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23630


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14744.70-177.74
S&P CDNX741.87-13.53
DJIA17828.240.49
Nasdaq4791.63+4.312
S&P 5002067.56-5.27
CDN Dollar0.8756-0.0004
Gold1175.20-21.40
Oil66.15-7.54
Lumber329.40+1.40
Natural Gas4.295+0.144

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.145-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.27-0.07
Cantex0.04-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1998+0.0288
Metalex Ventures0.06+0.02
Russel Metals29.91-0.79
Copper Mountain Mining1.94-0.18
Colorado Resources0.125-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0134-0.0001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.325+0.005

 
23744


24035

FEATURED Property
202900613472 Parkside Crescent
10086203 bedrooms
$185,900
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Don't stop dreaming!

On Wednesday evening I drove through the Bow Valley in Alberta. It is my old home town... the first place Jackie and I moved to in 1988 when we emigrated. We ended up setting up home there and living...


Second marriage issues

It is not unusual that one or both of the parties planning to marry are approaching marriage for the second time. There are pluses and minuses to this new situation. On the plus side, individuals ente...


The last great Canadian tax shelter

A guide to how flow-through fund limited partnerships can mightily aid your tax planning!The end of the year will raise concerns among many professionals, self-employed persons, business owners and ev...

_



24119

24207


Member of BC Press Council


24227