Why is it that news organisations are so bad at managing news about themselves? Generally speaking, the bigger the media organisation, the poorer its public relations skills β and the BBC 's are the worst of the lot.
No doubt the Corporation will have plenty of reasons for redacting some of the more sensitive material in this morning's 3,000-page report into why Newsnight shelved its Jimmy Savile investigation. But whatever the excuses are, it's a PR disaster. The reason the BBC commissioned an inquiry into the affair by Nick Pollard, the former head of Sky News, was, among other things, to try and restore the BBC's reputation for honesty and integrity. Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, wanted to create the impression that the top brass are not a law unto themselves, intent on protecting the organisations senior employees. Rather, they are accountable to the public. We pay their wages, after all. But now, thanks to the fact that the report's been censored, the BBC has succeeded in creating precisely the opposite impression. It turns out the top brass are a law unto themselves. The report has been redacted to protect the reputation of senior managers. They're not accountable to the public after all. (To read more, click here.)