Shift changeover blamed for Today naming blunder

The potential pitfalls of the shift changeover were brought home to Radio 4’s Today programme when an interviewee who had insisted on remaining anonymous during a broadcast was inadvertently named.

On 23 June, a listener was interviewed on air about the effects of age discrimination. He had previously agreed with the programme’s day team that he would remain anonymous.

However, the overnight team failed to pick up on that fact and included his name in the broadcast. His complaint of privacy infringement has now been upheld by the BBC Programme Complaints Unit.

Today has since reviewed its changeover procedure “to ensure that vital details – such as a guest asking not to be identified – are communicated more clearly from one team to another”.

The unit has upheld a complaint of factual inaccuracy against BBC News.

A report broadcast on 12 June about alcohol abuse included a sequence illustrating the “recommended safe amount” of three to four units of alcohol per day for men and two to three for women. A viewer complained that the glasses of wine and lager shown represented more than the Department of Health’s recommendations on the safe daily amount.

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