Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

A lot of newspapers say we shouldn’t trust the BBC, but why should we trust them?

Posted by Graham Hayday on October 8, 2007

More on trust and UK media.

The bruised, bowed and beleaguered BBC has been taking the kind of shoeing normally reserved for Australian prop forwards in rugby world cup quarter finals.

One reason is ‘Noddygate’, or Alan Yentob’s apparent failure to conduct several of his own interviews for arts programme Imagine.

Many columnists in the nationals have called for his resignation following this heinous example of despicable viewer deception. First there was ‘Noddygate’, then there was ‘Socksgate’… Where oh where will it end?

In this context, today’s Guardian makes interesting reading. The media section carries an article based on an interview with Alan Yentob himself. It reads:

“It turns out that, as Will Wyatt was working on his investigation into ‘Crowngate’, staff on Yentob’s arts programme Imagine were conducting a trawl into ‘Noddygate’. The results, we can reveal today, are stark. In all of the shows, in the four years since Imagine began, fake ‘noddies’ were inserted into precisely none of them. Not one.”

Yentob’s crime was in fact his own honesty. He wasn’t sure if his colleagues had inserted false noddies into his interviews, so didn’t deny it when asked if they had. Cue rabid headlines in the print media.

So can we expect articles in titles such as the Times, Sun and Daily Mail tomorrow proclaiming ‘Yentob was innocent!’

I’m not holding my breath.

There has indeed been a breakdown in trust between ‘us’ and ‘the media’. But for the press to blame the BBC for all of it smacks of rank hypocrisy. The problem may be a lot closer to home.

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One Response to “A lot of newspapers say we shouldn’t trust the BBC, but why should we trust them?”

  1. Of course, unlike the BBC, no national newspaper has ever massaged its material or omitted information in order to make a story seem more interesting than it actually is. Especially not the Times. Especially not the story in the Times that I was quoted in the other week. No.

    In other words: you’re right on the button about the rank hypocrisy, and I’m glad it’s being said.

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