Displaying items by tag: BBC
The family of a Colombian man who is believed to have killed himself at a Heathrow immigration removal centre say he begged for help and was willing to leave the UK. Frank Ospina died on 25 March, within a month of being detained, while he was waiting to be deported. His family say that he had no existing mental health problems. The BBC has been investigating conditions inside immigration centres, at a time when the Government is taking a harder line on migrants. Documents have shown mounting strain on detainees because of the delays in processing their cases, and also there was an incident in which a group of detainees tried to kill themselves three days after Mr Ospina's death. This news comes ahead of the publication of a report, due soon, into abusive behaviour by staff at the Brook House facility, a centre near Gatwick. A public inquiry was launched following a landmark undercover Panorama investigation in 2017: see
The Sun newspaper reported that a well-known BBC presenter has paid over £35,000 to a 17-year-old to fund his drug habit in exchange for explicit images of himself. A week later the BBC suspended Huw Edwards. But the BBC's investigation will need to tread carefully as the presenter has severe mental health issues. The BBC has a duty of care towards him as an employee, and that must be respected. He is in an internal corporate BBC process. On 12 July the Sun reported him breaking lockdown rules in 2021 to meet someone from a dating site. Without having seen the evidence people can't judge the outcome. Pray for an end to unhelpful media speculation. It could be a reprimand. It could be dismissal. It could need reputational rehabilitation. See
Data compiled from 2018 to 2022 by Reuters showed the BBC experiencing a decline in public trust from 75% to just 55%. Other mainstream TV broadcasters and newspapers suffered a similar decline. The UK is in 26th position, ahead of only South Korea and Japan in terms of public faith in media. British people have among the lowest levels of trust in journalists, with only 37% of those surveyed saying that they trusted them, versus the global average of 47%. Only two out of every ten people feel that the news media is ‘independent from undue political or government influence most of the time’. This ranks the UK 16th among the 24 nations surveyed, on a par with Romania. Our much-vaunted media landscape is not the envy of the world as we are often led to believe. See also
Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen has shut down the last few independent media outlets in the country, six months before a general election. He cancelled Voice Of Democracy‘s operating licence after they published an article which he claimed slandered his son. Amnesty International said this is slamming the door on what is left of independent media and a warning to other critical voices who still dare to ask questions about the government, the prime minister, and his family. Pray for Cambodians to have safe access to truthful news. Indian tax authorities searched BBC offices after it aired a story of prime minister Narendra Modi’s role in anti-Muslim violence when he was chief minister of the state. It was only broadcast in the UK. Modi is blocking Indians from sharing ‘the Modi question’ online, calling it hostile propaganda. A spokesman for him called the BBC ‘the most corrupt organisation in the world’.
An undercover reporter worked inside the Edenfield Centre caring for people held under the Mental Health Act who are at serious risk of harming themselves or others. With a hidden camera, he filmed staff swearing at patients, taunting and mocking them in vulnerable situations - when they were undressing - and joking about their self-harm. Patients were being unnecessarily restrained as well as being slapped or pinched by staff on some occasions. Some female staff acted in a sexualised way towards male patients. Ten patients were being held in small seclusion rooms, designed for short-term isolation to prevent immediate harm, for days, weeks or even months, with only brief breaks. Patient observations, a crucial safety measure, were being regularly missed, and records falsified. Seven members of staff were seen sleeping on shift. A consultant psychiatrist said the footage showed a ‘toxic culture’ among staff of ‘corruption, perversion, aggression, hostility, and lack of boundaries’, which were undermining patient recovery.
'We are living in a Christian land', declared one of the BBC’s founding figures at its launch. Broadcasting House, in London, was opened in 1932. Above the central archway in the entrance lobby was a large Latin inscription of their value statement: ‘This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.’ This inscription remains in the same place today, and the mission statement is as necessary and relevant as ever. May the BBC and all media outlets be reliable and honest sources of information. May truth be uppermost on all reporting, without speculation or opinions. Pray also for religious broadcasting and light entertainment.
Last week, Ofcom publicly withdrew from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, citing as the reason a need to avoid conflict or a risk of perceived bias. They are the latest in a growing list of government departments and public bodies to acknowledge that the advice given by Stonewall is highly partisan, often factually inaccurate, and sometimes misleading. None of this, however, appears to have impacted on the BBC. In a statement issued on 26 August, the corporation defiantly repeated its commitment to workplace inclusion, saying it would remain associated with Stonewall’s LGBTQ+ Diversity Champions’ programme. A sizeable number of BBC staff are deeply unhappy with this. Senior presenters have complained that continuing support for the controversial programme indicates clear bias and partiality, with one commenting, ‘if we’re all being lectured about impartiality, and quite rightly so, why are we signed up to a scheme that is obviously partial?’
BBC chairman Richard Sharp said failures of ‘accountability and transparency’ existed until 2020. The BBC will review editorial practices and investigate how journalist, Martin Bashir, was re-hired as religion editor in 2016, after an inquiry found he used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure an interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC accepted the findings and reiterated its apology. The Duke of Cambridge said his mother was failed ‘not just by a rogue reporter’ but by BBC bosses. An enquiry found Bashir had faked bank statements to suggest Princess Diana was under surveillance - to win the trust of her brother Earl Spencer, and eventually gain access to the princess for the 1995 interview. Then as media interest in the interview increased, the BBC covered up its knowledge of how Bashir secured the interview. Now the BBC board ‘hopes to ensure the mistakes of the past could not be repeated’. Pray for truth, humility and justice run through all reporting and commentaries.
Christian MP Gregory Campbell has defended his claim that the BBC's Songs of Praise Gospel Singer of the Year Competition was ‘the BBC at its Black Lives Matter worst’. The semi-final featured five black singers and three black judges. He believes the singers were not representative of the best gospel singers in the country, the BBC is not diverse, and the show had ‘one colour scheme’. The presenter of the competition said very few white people applied, and the best singers were chosen. The MP then asked him if he was trying to make him believe there wasn't a single white person good enough when both black and white sing gospel. The presenter said the show celebrated a style of music that came out of black communities and black experience in this country; Campbell's comments show a lack of understanding and ignorance about gospel music.
A BBC programme aimed at nine- to twelve-year-olds claims that there are 'over 100 gender identities'. The film, ‘Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities', is offered on its website as part of its relationships and sex education package for home schooling. It tells children that becoming transgender is a way to be 'happy', while making no mention of the growing legal and medical concerns about the rising number of children saying they want to change gender. When a pupil asks, 'How many gender identities are there?' the teacher replies, 'There are many gender identities. We know we have male and female, but there are over 100 if not more gender identities now. Some people might feel they are two different genders, some might think they are bi-gender. There are some who might call themselves “gender-queer” - like, I don't want to be anything in particular, I just want to be me.'