The capacity of the BBC Head of News to assess objectivity to justify claims

The request was refused by British Broadcasting Corporation.

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

A BBC news show recently featured James Harding.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0890kjg

Sub: 'James Harding on claims of BBC bias against Trump. Plus Sky and iconic news photos
James Harding also discusses the challenges in dealing with "fake news" and "alternative facts".'

In this, at approximately 16-19 minutes in, presenter Steve Hewlett asks a simple question. Mr. Harding seems to know, but does not want to answer.

SH: Do you . . . well, that might be the answer. Do you know anybody on the journalistic or editorial staff at the BBC, who is pro-Trump?
JH: (two second pause) (inhales) So . . .
SH: As an individual I mean.
JH: So, so really important . . . there’s a really important thing here, which is that, people inside the BBC, they are all journalists, actually, one of the great misunderstandings about journalists is that there is such a thing as groupthink. Journalists, by nature, have really contrary opinions, they have different opinions, certainly when, when there’s a group of think— er, people who go in one direction, they, by nature, want to go the other direction, you know them as well as I do. Erm, one thing that is true of the BBC is of course, you leave all your personal opinions at the door."

So we are faced with BBC ‘truth’, and BBC opinion, which may be the same thing to the BBC, but not in the real world:

http://isthebbcbiased.blogspot.co.uk/201...
"One thing that is true of the BBC is of course, you leave all your personal opinions at the door”

Hence these are inspired by questions posed by the BBC to the BBC in a broadcast:

1. With the benefit of time, does James Harding, head of BBC News, know of anyone on the journalistic or editorial staff at the BBC, who is pro-Trump?

2. With the benefit of time, does James Harding, head of BBC News, know of anyone on the journalistic or editorial staff at the BBC, who is anti-Trump?

One trusts in BBC credibility and transparency that simple 'yes or no' answers will be forthcoming, though they may inspire further from those outside the BBC. Possibly beyond the circular firing squad.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Martin

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

Dear Mr Martin,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your request was received on 27 January 2017. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible, and at the latest within 20 working days.

If you have any queries about your request, please contact us at the above address.

The reference number for your request is RFI20170208.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights, BBC Legal
BC2A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

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FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Martin

 

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI20170208

 

 

Yours sincerely,

The Information Policy and Compliance Team

 

BBC Information Policy and Compliance

BC2A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP, UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

Tel: 020 8008 2882

Fax: 020 8008 2398

 

 

 

 

 

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