The BBC, Savile and editors under pressure

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Charlie Beckett makes an insightful point about last night’s Panorama covering the BBC’s multiple failures to expose Jimmy Savile as a paedophile and sexual predator:

Likewise, let’s put the Newsnight controversy in perspective. The Newsnight debacle is familiar to anyone who’s seen editors under pressure make unfortunate decisions in a culture where risk is rarely rewarded and where ‘brave’ is a term of mockery. I doubt there was any direct attempt by senior bosses to kill that film.

It’s very easy to go hunting for people to blame in a situation like this. Far more often it’s the culture to blame – but a culture is still made up of people. A lot of people. In many ways, that’s worse.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.