BBC defends Newsnight in report row

The BBC has insisted that a Newsnight report – criticised for having changes to its chronology – did not breach editorial guidelines.

The BBC issued a formal apology last week when it showed a misleading preview about a documentary about the Queen to journalists.

Changes to the chronology wrongly gave the appearance that she had stormed out of a photoshoot.

This week the Mail on Sunday claimed that filmmaker Jamie Campbell changed the chronology in his Newsnight film to give the impression that the Treasury deliberately targeted him for questioning by police knowing he was making a film for Newsnight and exaggerated the role of its press officers who refused to cooperate with him.

The BBC said: “The sequences would have had the same meaning if we had run them in the reverse order.”

But a former senior BBC current affairs journalist, who asked not be to be named, said that he disagrees with Newsnight deputy editor Robbie Gibb, who said on his blog that “the film didn’t breach any of the BBC’s producer guidelines”.

The BBC insider said: “If he’s telling me that the BBC guidelines allow one to distort the facts of the story to end up misrepresenting the facts is OK, then he’s reading a different set of guidelines to those I read.”

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