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BBC boss hits back at Emily Maitlis’ claims about outlet’s impartiality

BBC boss hits back at Emily Maitlis’ claims about outlet’s impartiality #BBC #boss #hits #Emily #Maitlis #claims #outlets #impartiality Welcome to Viasildes, here is the new story we have for you today:

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A BBC boss has hit back at Emily Maitlis’ claims about the outlet’s impartiality, after the former Newsnight presenter slammed the broadcaster over its reaction to comments she made regarding Dominic Cummings.

Maitlis, who announced her departure from the BBC earlier this year before joining rival media group Global, called out an ‘active agent of the Conservative party’ while slamming the BBC’s impartiality when speaking at the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday.

She also spoke out about the BBC’s impartiality, revealing how shocked she was at how quickly the BBC moved to apologise to Downing Street after her controversial Newsnight monologue two years ago.

The TV presenter received immense backlash for her opening monologue during an episode of Newsnight in 2020, in which she said Dominic Cummings, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, had ‘broken the rules’ with a lockdown trip to Durham and ‘the country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot’. 

Maitlis’ comments attracted over 20,000 complaints and the BBC later decided that the presenter breached impartiality rules, saying in a statement: ‘We believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality.’ 


Emily Maitlis

Emily Maitlis delivered the annual MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival (Picture: PA)

‘Why had the BBC immediately and publicly sought to confirm the government spokesman’s opinion?’ she said, continuing: ‘Without any kind of due process? It makes no sense for an organisation that is admirably, famously rigorous about procedure – unless it was perhaps sending a message of reassurance directly to the government itself?’

But now, a BBC boss has hit back at the claims, insisting that: ‘in no way was there any influence from the Government or the board’ on the BBC over the decision to criticise Maitlis’ monologue.


Emily Maitlis on Newsnight

Emily Maitlis’ comments about Dominic Cummings on Newsnight received 20,000 complaints (Picture: BBC / Nigel Ramdial)

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said at the Edinburgh TV Festival that Maitlis’ lecture had been on an ‘incredibly important subject.’

Moore also wished well the high-profile staff who have followed Maitlis in leaving the BBC, including Dan Walker, Lewis Goodall and Jon Sopel.

According to The Evening Standard, she said she was ‘sorry to see them go’, but this was the ‘natural course of things in a competitive landscape’, adding that other outlets would be ‘getting it wrong’ to not want to poach BBC talent.

Emily Maitls

Maitlis left the BBC earlier this year, having presented Newsnight since 2006 (Picture: ENTERPRISE NEWS AND PICTURES)

In a statement to Metro.co.uk, the BBC said: ‘The BBC places the highest value on due impartiality and accuracy and we apply these principles to our reporting on all issues. As we have made clear previously in relation to Newsnight we did not take action as a result of any pressure from Number 10 or Government and to suggest otherwise is wrong. The BBC found the programme breached its editorial standards and that decision still stands.’

This follows widespread praise Maitlis has received for her speech.

Channel 4 boss Ian Katz has said he thought Maitlis’ speech was ‘brilliant’, and that it served as a powerful reminder that ‘due impartiality is the bedrock of journalism.’

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Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the chief content officer at the channel said: ‘Impartiality does not mean calling out things that are simply untrue.’

He added that he thinks ‘the thing we have to obsess about as news organisations is trust’ and claimed that Channel 4 is the most trusted news outlet in the UK.

People have flocked to social media to share praise of Maitlis, with one writing: ‘THANK YOU, @maitlis for telling it like it is. God knows the BBC needs journalists like you, @jonsopel, @lewis_goodall etc with the guts to speak truth to power. It’s simply heartbreaking to see the corporation so neutered.’

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MORE : Emily Maitlis recalls shock over BBC’s ‘speed’ in apologising to Downing Street over Newsnight monologue

MORE : Emily Maitlis recalls shock over BBC’s ‘speed’ in apologising to Downing Street over Newsnight monologue

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