Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised


11:00 am - September 6th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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In May this year Liberal Conspiracy first wrote about how single mother Shanene Thorpe had been treated by the BBC.

In a package for Newsnight journalist Allegra Stratton covered housing benefit and welfare reform, briefly interviewing Shanene Thorpe about her situation.

In the short piece, very little context was offered on Ms Thorpe’s life – giving the impression that she was living off benefits while not working.

After repeated coverage of the incident on this blog, and a petition by Shanene Thorpe herself, the BBC first offered an online apology.

Last week it finally broadcast an apology at the end of the programme.

All’s well that ends well. The original segment is here.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Sunny

All’s well that ends well

Nope. The BBC have still to explain why such a distortion was made. Simply saying ‘sorry’ for the distortion, is not good enough.

Was it sloppy editing or was the distortion done to comply with a political agenda?

2. Chaise Guevara

Good. Should have come earlier, though.

Newsnight has become almost unwatchable these days. There is usually a 2-1 bias in favour of the Conservative opinion. Even if it is not a politician it is some right wing blowhard. On Monday we had 2 tories and 1 lib dem supporting reshuffle against1 labour spokesman. That was a 3-1 bias. In addition the presenters let the non right wing speaker get about 5 words out before they interrupt them, and hectoring them. No such rude treatment for the tory spokesman. The BBC is terrified of the right wing. It’s excuse for not covering the sell off of the NHS. “we didn’t think the public was interested.”

It’s news programs are so dumbed down and regimented they resemble children’s programs. News by, and for Tinky Winky.

I found news night often has a more left wimg bias, such as in the case of David starkey who was thrown to the socialist wolves!

And it only took just over three months. I notice the apology wasn’t delivered by Stratton, who was presumably much too busy despite having appeared on Newsnight earlier in the week.

As for David Starkey, he’s a preening pretentious twat who attracts deserved derision from all sectors of the political spectrum.

It seems that few understand that most people ‘on benefits’ are in work. Scandal of low wages and part time work.

David Starkey is a weird loon who has man crushes on megalomaniac, medieval thug Kings.

Good, took them a while though and no explanation of how.

Pleased to see an apology made – though I do hate the nature of modern apologies. No one is “sorry” but instead “apologise” and never for what they did, only for the accidental consequence of it (in this case distress caused).

But the same sort of thing will keep happening. The BBC’s various news staff have about as much grounding in the lives of working people as the government front Bench. So their perceptions tend to be way out of kilter with reality when dealing with such people, and they tend to come across as either patronising or condemnatory because they’ve no experience of dealing with such people or issues.

Hmmm…and yet the left often provides and accepts “out of context” portrayals of (alleged) poverty…For example, ‘Save the Children’s’ recently launched UK campaign…

TONE @

Depicting someone who works and is forced to apply for housing benefit as ‘non working benefit claiment, as a lifestyle choice is not ‘out of context’, it is a lie and a pretty much despicable one at that

12. Margin4error

Tone

Are you saying that because some one does something bad, everyone is in the right to do something bad? Or are you just a twonk who wants to rant at lefties and have no cause to on this subject?

11 and 12:

Just saying that the practice is found across the political spectrum. No more, no less. But there are some on here who simply can’t see that.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 13

“Just saying that the practice is found across the political spectrum. ”

TONE, did anyone here say something along the lines of “oh, the Right are always doing this?” Because, if so, yours is a fair response. If not, it does sound like you’re the one sabre-rattling. The OP doesn’t even count as an example, unless we think that Newsnight is a recognised representative of the Right. And even if it was, it wouldn’t amount to a broad-brush attack.

Hopefully, of course, we’ll condemn the sort of stunt Newsnight pulled regardless of who does it and to whom.

TONE @ 13

Just saying that the practice is found across the political spectrum

It has nothing to do with the political spectrum, this is about someone deliberately lying to further an agenda. Specificaly an agenda to appease the fucking baying morons in the Tory party.

@9. Margin4error: “Pleased to see an apology made – though I do hate the nature of modern apologies. No one is “sorry” but instead “apologise” and never for what they did, only for the accidental consequence of it (in this case distress caused).”

Yep, and we have discussed this subject (sorrow versus remorse versus apology) before. In this case, the TV apology did not address misrepresentation or how it was permitted to occur.

“But the same sort of thing will keep happening. The BBC’s various news staff have about as much grounding in the lives of working people as the government front Bench. So their perceptions tend to be way out of kilter with reality when dealing with such people, and they tend to come across as either patronising or condemnatory because they’ve no experience of dealing with such people or issues.”

The right, of course, proclaim that the BBC is a puppet propaganda organisation. The left argue that the BBC represents the establishment and authority. But what is the “BBC” or its culture? What is the role of the BBC and what should it be?

M4e is correct in identifying that news presenters are “not like us”. They are freaks who wake up at strange times to tell us what is happening in the world when we wake up and when we go to bed. Foreign correspondents travel the world and unless they are despatched to a war zone or Washington DC, they are unlikely to be shot. All the same, there are BBC journalists in the regions or freelancers who are more like us.

BBC news will never please many people. The stuff that matters are documentaries and investigative stories, where journalists *may* present an angle in a long piece. In short pieces, as described in the OP, journalists should not try to present an angle. If that means there is no story, there should be no story.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised http://t.co/GA10Vcrd

  2. Jason Brickley

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised http://t.co/7lfrZicY

  3. goLookGoRead is:

    Newsnight finally apologised http://t.co/iiX8irox [I am so pleased that newsnight did the right thing by Shanene well done for persevearing]

  4. Natacha Kennedy

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologise to @Nenes_Life http://t.co/V3tPZW2E via @libcon well done Shanene, shame on @Newsnight

  5. Declan Gaffney

    Newsnight's broadcast apology to Shanene Thorpe. http://t.co/8y2bxdHH

  6. Gus

    Newsnight's broadcast apology to Shanene Thorpe. http://t.co/8y2bxdHH

  7. Richard Exell

    Newsnight finally apologises to Shanene Thorpe: http://t.co/vfnKyPmx via @libcon

  8. BendyGirl

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  9. Peter

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  10. emmie baker larner

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  11. 2wolves

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  12. Liz Crow

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  13. Jeni Parsons

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/RLsa7J7Q via @libcon

  14. Stuart White

    Newsnight's broadcast apology to Shanene Thorpe. http://t.co/8y2bxdHH

  15. Jeni Parsons

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  16. Stephen Gash

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/RLsa7J7Q via @libcon

  17. David Burling

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  18. Linda Pugh

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  19. Silver

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  20. Matthew Doye

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  21. Lilacwheelz

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  22. sunny hundal

    Eventually, BBC Newsnight apologised. But why not from Allegra Stratton herself? http://t.co/n8JhmG33

  23. Thomas Milman

    Eventually, BBC Newsnight apologised. But why not from Allegra Stratton herself? http://t.co/n8JhmG33

  24. Pennie Quinton

    Eventually, BBC Newsnight apologised. But why not from Allegra Stratton herself? http://t.co/n8JhmG33

  25. David Gillon

    Eventually, BBC Newsnight apologised. But why not from Allegra Stratton herself? http://t.co/n8JhmG33

  26. Richard

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised to Shanene Thorpe | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Vzlq63DD via @libcon

  27. Kevin Donovan

    Eventually, BBC Newsnight apologised. But why not from Allegra Stratton herself? http://t.co/n8JhmG33

  28. AJ

    Living of welfare? #BBCNewsnight finally apologises http://t.co/4ORmwd0m

  29. Robert CP

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/IoY7joJI via @libcon

  30. Don Arthur

    Why helping the media with case studies isn't always a good idea http://t.co/s3CrHMYd

  31. Don Arthur

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ANI5Gq0R via @libcon

  32. Andrew Griffiths

    Watch: BBC Newsnight finally apologised http://t.co/sTSTrAo6

  33. Iguana Keeper

    4 mos. later– BBC Newsnight apologises for misportraying a young mom getting benefits as an unemployed loafer http://t.co/noAhuzSu @libcon

  34. Iguana Keeper

    .@BBCAllegra Misportraying this woman, and then suggesting she give up her child is despicable. http://t.co/noAhuzSu http://t.co/cwwYzUwt

  35. Paul Cotterill

    @MetLines Ah, here it is http://t.co/dz02hVkI four months later





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