Saturday 9 July 2022

The BBC bending the truth again

As I posted on Tuesday, it took 36 minutes from the news of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid's resignations breaking on the BBC News website for BBC One's News at Six to 'break' it too. Why? Because the BBC chose to stick with the tennis and postponed the news until 6:18pm. This week's Newswatch featured three aghast viewers. Then Samira Ahmed said:
We asked to speak to someone about the decision to postpone Tuesday's News at Six, and more widely the practice of live sports events displacing scheduled news bulletins, but our invitation was declined. Instead we were given the statement.
It's the statement itself that particularly struck me:
We understand scheduling changes can be frustrating and we don't take these decisions lightly. We always try to minimise disruption but during times of live tournament sport, like our extensive coverage of Wimbledon, we do make occasional changes. Cameron Norrie was the first British man in a Wimbledon Quarter Final since 2017 and we wanted to capture that moment live on BBC One. We switched to the News on BBC One as soon as news of the resignations broke and extended our coverage on the channel as a result. This is a balancing act and while catering to audiences with such a wide range of tastes and interests, we recognise not everyone will agree with certain changes made.
My problem with that is that it's factually untrue that the BBC switched to the News on BBC One as soon as news of the resignations broke. They did no such thing. They switched 36 minutes after news of the resignations broke - resignations that came 18 minutes before the News at Six should have started. And even then, after breaking away from the tennis - with the match still ongoing - they still put in two adverts (for the BBC) before the News finally began 18 minutes late.

As for and "we wanted to capture that moment live on BBC One", they'd been capturing it live since 4:55pm on BBC One.

Why can't they just own up when they've made a mistake, and stop lying about it too?

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