Tuesday 23 February 2021

Jeremy Vine and Andrew Marr's discussion "misled listeners and did not meet the BBC’s standards of due accuracy"

Those who enjoy reading BBC Executive Complaints Unit findings that go against the BBC are in for a treat here

This one concerns an edition of BBC Radio 2's The Jeremy Vine Show on 6 October 2020 and an interview between the host and Andrew Marr.

Here's how the BBC summarises the complaint: 
The programme included an interview with Andrew Marr about his book “Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Was Forged” in which he referred to one of its subjects, Jayaben Desai, who was involved in the prolonged strike at Grunwick in 1976. The son of the late George Ward, the owner of Grunwick, complained that the discussion repeated statement about Mr Ward’s treatment of his workforce which were in conflict with the findings of the inquiry conducted by Lord Scarman, and for which the BBC had apologised when they were broadcast on previous occasions. The ECU considered the complaint in the light of the BBC’s editorial standards of due accuracy.
What's so striking there is that the BBC "had apologised" before "on previous occasions" for making such statements, and now thanks to Mr Vine and Mr Marr they've had to do it again! 

So what happened? Well, the BBC ruled against Jeremy Vine and Andrew Marr:
As the ECU was presented with no evidence which would have allowed it to discount Lord Scarman’s conclusions, it accepted that the statements in question would have misled listeners and did not meet the BBC’s standards of due accuracy.
And what happened as a result? Well, pretty much the usual:
Further action
The finding was reported to the board of BBC Radio and discussed with the programme-makers concerned. The inaccurate material will not be re-broadcast.
It doesn't sound as if the verdict had to be read out on The Jeremy Vine Show or a public apology given.

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