2 February 2004
Don't take the BBC for granted
Dr Richard Drayton (letter, 31 January) on the subject of Hutton makes a mistake by minimising the culpability of the BBC. The BBC is in breach of its statutory obligations under the agreement of its charter which demands: "Maintenance of high general standards in all respects (and in particular in respect of their content, quality and editorial integrity)"- clause 3.1.
And in the detail it requires the BBC to: "Treat controversial subjects with due accuracy and impartiality, both in the corporation's news services and in the more general field of programmes dealing with matters of public policy or of political or industrial controversy" - clause 5.1
Even if Gilligan's report was, according to Dr Drayton, "more or less on the nail", the BBC has openly acknowledged there were journalistic lapses. In the light of the BBC's legal obligations this represents a serious dereliction.