Impartiality is paramount, says BBC news chief

Director of BBC news Richard Sambrook made an impassioned appeal for the continued survival of impartiality in broadcast journalism last week, as he was admitted to the fellowship of the Royal Television Society.

Speaking at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (Bafta) in London, Sambrook said that in the current climate, particularly with the conflict in the Middle East, the need for reporting to remain impartial was paramount.

He singled out the US-based Fox News channel as the antithesis of impartial reporting, describing its disregard for impartiality as “extremely dangerous”.

“I think its important to remember what CP Scott said: ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’.”

Sambrook also reflected on the fact that at the same time he received his RTS fellowship, he was sending friends and colleagues over to Iraq.

“May all our friends and colleagues come home safely,” he said.

Sambrook, who joined the BBC in 1980 as a radio newsroom sub-editor, was made a fellow of the RTS for his contribution to television journalism.

By Wale Azeez

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