|Jonathan Munro (again)|
Jonathan Munro, the BBC's Head of Newsgathering, may not have completely delighted me this morning but he certainly made Big John Simpson's day yesterday:
Delighted that the BBC’s Jonathan Munro has strongly defended it from querulous attacks by former BBC bosses. Failure to stand up for yourself when unfairly criticised looks like real timidity — & is just asking for more of the same.
Contrary to what former BBC boss Roger Mosey seems to think, BBC TV News viewing figures have held up remarkably well, & the quality gets better & better, especially in the area of foreign reporting. But the Beeb seems perennially reluctant to stand up for itself.
No one could ever accuse John Simpson of complacency, could they?
Well, he attacked ex-BBC "armchair generals" like Roger Mosey and Mark Damazer not only for being critical of the BBC but for apparently singling out two female BBC journalists (Laura Bicker and Emma Vardy).
He basically accuses his former colleagues of being sexist.
Oh, and yes, he even uses the phrase "male, stale and pale". (James Purnell will like that).
Here's an extract from Jonathan's rant:
Guess what? Both the targets were women correspondents, doing an excellent job for us on very challenging stories. And both are being criticised by male AGs who, when they had the chance to modernise the BBC, chose instead to leave us with a legacy which became popularly known as ‘men at 10’.
What a shame that they didn’t trust in some appointments not in their own image, to allow people to grow into their roles, to mix the cast list so it began to look and feel a bit like the audience – you know, a few women here and there.
Five years ago, we had zero female editors in newsgathering. Yes, zero. None of our staff correspondents in Europe was a woman. Yes, none. So when they’re thinking that it was so much better when they ran the place, they’re thinking back to the days when male, pale and stale was good enough. We’re proud to have moved things on.