BBC bans news staff from supporting anti-racism

On Wednesday (October 28th 2020) BBC’s Director of Editorial Policy and Standards David Jordan instructed news and current affairs staff to not attend Black Lives Matter events if they wish to continue to be employed by the BBC.

This diktat from Jordan followed director-general Tim Davie’s statement in his introductory address to staff on 3rd September: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then you should not be working at the BBC.”

Jordan has form.  He doubled-down on BBC Complaint Unit’s support for a complaint made against Naga Munchetty regarding her entirely accurate comment about Donald Trump’s racism.

“The issue is about when she went on further to discuss President Trump himself, what his motivations were for that, and that breached our impartiality requirements.  Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal opinions of our journalists or current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political, or industrial controversy.” – David Jordan, September 2019

Jordan didn’t want a member of staff to express the fact that she is opposed to racism.  He asked for a neutral position.  His stance on racism remains the same today. 

Black Lives Matter is a political campaign and racism is a political issue.  There are exactly two options to choose regarding racism: 1) Support anti-racism, or 2) be racist.  To demand neutrality on racism is to support racism.

Jordan’s false neutrality demand is a facet of the BBC’s fear of upsetting prevailing political outlooks.  It is fear of loss of charter as well as fear of losing viewers and listeners to far-right shockjock radio and TV channels like LBC, talkRadio and, next year, Andrew Neil’s GB News.  

A feature of Davie’s aforementioned introductory speech to staff was a meaningless desire to find a new method of “impartiality.”

We need to explore new ways of delivering impartiality, seeking a wider spectrum of views, pushing out beyond traditional political delineations and finding new voices from across the nation.”

The garbled nonsense above was a long-winded way of saying he doesn’t want politics to interfere with politics.

Of course, Davie’s aversion to politics doesn’t mean all politics.  Any bloviating extreme-right grifter can be sure of a platform on a BBC news or current affairs show no matter how discredited or offensive their opinions. 

BBC is shifting further right and further from sense.  If Davie’s main objective is to destroy the BBC then he is progressing in that regard. 

Davie was chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Association.

Related blogs
Tim Davie’s introductory speech to BBC staff
BBC and racism


BBC bans news staff from supporting anti-racism

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