ON Monday, Mark Sharman told on TCW of the BBC’s egregious behaviour in ‘succeeding’ in getting a number of Facebook groups used by victims of Covid vaccine damage closed down.
This was despite them being set up to ‘provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide’.
The article asked: What business was it of the BBC’s and what right did it have to act in that way?
Responding to our question, one reader suggested this needed be taken further, as he strongly suspected the corporation could be in breach of the International Federation of Journalists Global Charter of Ethics which, in article 11, forbids a journalist to act as an auxiliary to the police or other security services.
Our reader argued that in this case, Facebook acts as a security service on behalf of the Government. It is a grey area, he said, but at least the question must be asked.
He was right, so we looked into and made inquiries with a media lawyer. The answer was disappointing. We were told that the BBC is not bound by the IFJ in any way. Even if it was, we found, on closer scrutiny of the IFJ, that it is a Leftist organisation of which the main supporter in the UK is the National Union of Journalists. We need say no more.
We also looked at the corporation’s internal editorial guidelines. Once more, we found nothing which specifically forbids what the BBC reporter did in this case. This is a gap. But what we did find was this sequence:
1.2.4 Editorial Integrity and Independence.
The BBC is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.
Arguably, this is a significant guideline over which the regulations should be tightened and applied. The BBC’s audiences cannot be confident that the national broadcaster’s decisions are not so influenced – whether those influences be from the Government and its agencies, or the various well-funded lobbies such as Extinction Rebellion.
Without doubt the corporation’s highly partial climate change reporting falls into this category, where its pursuit of a particular political agenda is blatant.
But the bald truth is that – as with so much else – the rules governing the BBC are so elastic and vague that those in charge can do what the hell they like (and are doing) and, more than ever, act as overt campaigners and propagandists (at licence fee payers’ expense) while remaining judge and jury over output.
As we have said before, the only action we have at our disposal is to refuse to pay the licence fee.