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Wednesday 3 February 2010

Broadsheet Watch – 14

Today must be a slightly quieter one for news, as the Murdoch press has decided to make up a thinly sourced attack on the BBC. In the supposedly quality Times, media correspondent Patrick Foster tells that, in the aftermath of a Tory victory in the upcoming General Election, “the Chairman of the BBC will be the first casualty”, thus demonstrating that this once trusted title is no stranger nowadays to sloppy journalism.

Because the figure Foster is talking about is Sir Michael Lyons, who is the chairman of the BBC Trust – which is not the same as the BBC itself. Still, Foster says that the Times “has learnt” that the Trust will be “scrapped”.

So who are the sources for this article? Well, they’re clearly important enough not to need naming: there are “Senior Tory sources”, and “One senior Tory MP” for starters. For the BBC, there are “sources close to the Trust” (Foster inconsistently failed to capitalise the “T” in his quote).

Fortunately the spokesman put up by the BBC Trust has put this froth into context, by commenting “We are not going to comment on speculation”. And that is all it is. No one person speaking on the record, in addition to wrongly labelling Sir Michael Lyons and even making a basic capitalisation error.

Another routine day for Rupe’s supposedly upmarket troops, then.

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