The same BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee report referred to in this recent post also includes the ESC’s findings regarding complaints made concerning another edition of the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme which was broadcast on November 7th 2012 – see details of that programme here.
The appeal was not upheld (see pages 24 – 29 here). Among several interesting aspects of the committee’s decision is that fact that it seems to embrace a quaint belief that if something has been written or said by a journalist – any journalist – it must be true.
“The Committee considered that the range of submissions from the BBC demonstrated that the World Affairs Editor’s analysis was broadly representative of the media coverage at the time…”
In its findings regarding the two and a half year-long complaint concerning the ‘Today’ programme’s June 10th 2011 edition which appears before this one in the ESC report, it was noted that the stage 1A reply took over six times the acceptable defined time to reach the complainant than designated by the BBC.
“the Stage 1A response from Audience Services took 65 working days, against the target of 10 days.” [emphasis added]
One of the people who made a complaint about the ‘Today’ programme’s November 7th 2012 edition has informed us that:
“I made my complaint at Stage 1A on 9th November 2012 and got my first response (despite numerous phone calls and emails in the meanwhile, which were recorded and given their own BBC Complaints reference numbers) on 24th May 2013.”
In other words, the 10 day target was in that case exceeded by an incredible 186 days.
And yet the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee is not persuaded of “any shortcoming in the procedure itself“.