Former BBC director general Greg Dyke said the corporation’s
coverage of ITN’s scoop on the findings of the internal police
investigation into the shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes
was “not its proudest moment”.
Speaking during a special editon
of Question Time broadcast live from the festival, Dyke said the BBC
had angled its story on whether the leak should have happened, which
was “not the role of the broadcaster”.
He also said he expected the editors of the day had done it because they were “miffed that they had been scooped by ITN”.
During the debate the Respect MP George Galloway unexpectedly
congratulated broadcast journalists for their coverage of the London
bombings and their contribution to the calm public reaction.
Galloway returned to form for the rest of the debate, describing John
Ware’s Panorama report on alleged Islamist extremism in Britain, A
Question of Leadership, as a “journalistic mess” and “an overrated
perspective of what Islam looks like and sounds like, which is not
Fellow panellist Salman Rushdie defended Ware’s programme and said it was an example of the BBC at its best. He described it as “tough, hardline journalism”.
and presenter David Starkey was another panellist with praise for
broadcast journalism. He said: “ITN’s scoop on the de Menezes shooting
had a boldness that is usually the reserve of print journalism. It was
As the debate came to a close, Institute of Ideas
director Claire Fox said she had concerns about the trend of ‘citizen
journalism’ which had emerged as a key part of the coverage of the
London bombings, and said reporting should be left to qualified