As The Commentator observes in an exclusive explosive exposé issued at the weekend, the total sum spent by the BBC is likely to be even higher.
"The BBC has a special obligation to be accountable. It is publicly funded – in the UK, by the licence fee – and therefore all of its journalists have a responsibility to deal openly and fairly with its audiences."So opens one of the self-righteous self-congratulatory items in the "Standards" section on the website of the BBC's so-called College of Journalism (CoJo). The blurb on the introductory page states:
"BBC journalism is built on a number of editorial standards including truth and accuracy, impartiality, accountability, public interest and independence.
In this section, BBC director of news Helen Boaden outlines why the BBC’s ethics and values underpin everything its journalists do."The specific item I refer to above and below is headed "Accountability":
"By far the most important accountability we have is towards the audience, and it’s when we lose sight of that that we get into trouble ....
.... Accountability isn’t just about responding – or not responding – to complaints. You shouldn’t see complaints as a nuisance. Nor should you believe that it’s a sign of weakness if you’ve got something wrong.
If you receive a complaint it’s important to deal with it according to the complaints procedure that is in place.
As a BBC journalist you should be prepared to listen to your audience, understand why they might want you to explain what you’ve done and, if you have made a mistake, acknowledge it and be willing to learn from it.
Dealing with complaints properly and openly is an important part of building and maintaining trust.
However hard you strive to be accurate, fair and impartial, you will get things wrong from time to time...."Observes another BBC bigwig on the same site:
"There are many reasons why Wikileaks is a 'Good Thing'. Any force for transparency has to be better than one for secrecy."
Any force for transparency except releasing the Balen Report, it seems.
Columnist Alex Singleton wrote yesterday:
"It's time for the BBC to give up. We already know that it's biased towards the Left. But the corporation looks ridiculous in its endless attempts to stop the publication of an inquiry into its coverage of Israel....
You probably won't hear this on the BBC, but there is a truth about Israel that the Left has been blinded to. It is that Israel is a virtuous country....
Sadly the debate has been skewed by nutty Left-wing websites who ignore the truth about the Israel and print endless false accusations against the country.....
When the BBC is bombarded by the constant email campaigns of these people who pervert reality, I suspect they really do believe that their coverage is even-handed."Clearly, unless the BBC has a change of heart in its top echelons, the Balen Report will continue to be suppressed.
Unless somebody at Al Beeb is prepared to be a whistleblower.
(As for that complaints procedure of which Ms Boaden boasts: I was given short shrift when I complained, a decade ago, about two reports by Orla Guerin, the arrogant official in charge of complaints snottily informing me that he refused to investigate my grievances since the fact that I was complaining about two separate reports within a short time of each other suggested that the "problem" lay with me and not with the reporter! I'm still awaiting a reply to a complaint I made back in 2009 about perceived bias in Jeremy Bowen's online "Diary" during Cast Lead, despite explicitly requesting a response! Little wonder that some frustrated people in the same position have dubbed the BBC "Bin and Bypass Complaints"!)