UK & World News
BBC Boss: We're Working To Rebuild Trust
The acting director-general of the BBC has said he has begun the job of rebuilding trust in the public broadcaster.
Tim Davie told Sky News: "The key here is absolutely to have a very clear line of journalistic control to me. This is about establishing clear lines of responsibility in our journalism and delivering the output we trust and I think I'm in a good position to do that.
"We've really got to work at getting grip in the BBC.
"It's been a really troublesome time and my job has to be get a simple organisation in place that can deliver the trusted journalism you're talking about and take action. And that's what I'm here to do.
"You've got to remember that the BBC has built trust in a time when many organisations have lost trust. Now we've had a major problem over the last few weeks. I need to grip that, but the people I'm putting in charge I absolutely trust and they are very strong journalists.
"We need to rebuild trust and that is what I'm going to do."
His comments came after the BBC's director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, stepped aside over the crisis at the corporation.
Their moves followed the resignation of director-general George Entwistle at the weekend in response to a botched Newsnight report which mistakenly implicated former Conservative treasurer Lord McAlpine in the North Wales children's home scandal of the 1970s and 1980s.
Newsnight was already the subject of an inquiry, by former head of Sky News Nick Pollard, after dropping a report last year which would have examined sex abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile.
In a statement, the corporation said: "To address the lack of clarity around the editorial chain of command, a decision has been taken to re-establish a single management to deal with all output, Savile-related or otherwise.
"Helen Boaden has decided that she is not in a position to undertake this responsibility until the Pollard review has concluded.
"During this period Fran Unsworth will act as director of news. In line with this decision, Ceri Thomas will act on a temporary basis as deputy director in place of Stephen Mitchell."
The organisation said it wanted "to make it absolutely clear" that neither Ms Boaden nor Mr Mitchell had anything to do with the failed investigation into Lord McAlpine and they expect to return to their positions after the Pollard report.
Karen O'Connor has been made acting editor of Newsnight after Peter Rippon, who was responsible for the decision to drop the Savile investigation, stepped aside last month.
In another development, Iain Overton, the man whose Tweet alerted the public to the Newsnight programme wrongly linking Lord McAlpine with child abuse, resigned as editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Mr Overton had tweeted that a joint report by the Bureau and the BBC was to be broadcast "about a very senior political figure who is a paedophile". His message was retweeted 1,574 times.
Although the programme did not name the politician, it led to speculation on the internet about Lord McAlpine.
Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Maria Miller told the House of Commons that the National Audit Office has the power to undertake a value-for-money review into Mr Entwistle's pay-off - a full year's salary of £450,000 in lieu of notice after just 54 days in the post.
Under the terms of his contract Mr Entwistle was entitled to only six months' pay but the trust said the additional payment had been agreed as a reflection of his continuing involvement with the various BBC inquiries now under way.
Earlier, Downing Street said the Prime Minister David Cameron thinks the amount was "hard to justfiy", though it was a matter for the BBC Trust to decide.
Ms Miller said: "If the National Audit Office decides to review this decision, I would expect the BBC to cooperate fully.
"It is in the long-term interests of the BBC to have a period of stability.
"The BBC must address whatever failings there have been in the editorial process, particularly in Newsnight, in order to restore public confidence.
"The BBC Trust must get the right director-general in the post, and Lord Hatton has indicated that he will do this as quickly as possible."
She added: "Ultimately, the only organisation that can restore confidence in the BBC is the BBC itself."
Labour's Harriet Harman, the shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said nothing should "trespass on the BBC's independence".
"The next victim of this crisis must not be the independence of the BBC," she said.
what do you think?
A lot of people on the Jeremy Vine show today calling for the licence tax to be scrapped. Most are very unhappy about entwistle being paid 450k for resigning. He resigned, why should he be paid anything apart from what hes owed ? It's not like he was made redundant.
Entitled to it, in his contract. Blame the person who agreed the contract.
What ! you can get a contract that states if you resign you will be paid a years salary ! Unbelievable, and another example of the cosy, wooly world that a lot of these publicly funded organisations live in. Honestly, are they even in the same solar system as the rest of us, let alone on the same planet ?
Windows Live User
6month in his contract not 12 Lord whatsit thought it was easier to give him 450k of our money than have an extended discussion with him. Says so on msn You couldnt make this lot up could you?
Yes Windows, I have just heard that on R4. Still obscene and definitely smacks of hush money (as you say, our money). I bet he re-appears in some top job there at some point too.
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What exactly does Chris Patton do? Why is the top man escaping criticism?
I don't think he is escaping entirely. Well have to wait and see what happens. I did hear one tory mp on radio 4 last night saying he should go.
The rest of that news heading should read ..........Just as soon as wer'e finished lining our pockets.
Windows Live User
Think we should all hold back on paying the license tax for a while. Just so the trust aint got too much of our money to give away gratis
This latest incident in which the BBC journalists competence and integrity is brought into question is just one of many such incidents over the last decade. Anybody who follows BBC news related programs will have seen many incidents of biased and inaccurate reporting. So it is not surprising that nobody with any sense trusts the BBC reports. To put it right they will have to start at the universities and their training of media studies which has some very serious flaws. The only good thing you can say about the BBC is that they are no worse that other news media outlets and considerably better than most newspapers.
Interesting that CallMeDave finds he is able to comment on Entwhistle's 450k payoff but felt it inappropriate to comment on his close friend, Rebekah Brooks' 7m payoff from Murdoch.
Different scenario Ben. One publicly owned by us ( Cameron is right to speak on our behalf) the other is privately owned, payopffs are nothing to do with Cameron. (no public money involved)
Just think how many of us are paying for this circus plus these back handers paid to useless management. Joke's the lot of them. Taking us for mugs.
Privatise it - sell the shares & give every TV licence payer 100 free shares. On the condition that no more tv licences HAVE to be paid in future, cut em lose ! Free market capitalism at its best.
The more money you pay to lower people the more you get higher up the food chain simples
Windows Live User
Dont think there is such a thing as lower people at the BBC I've heard the teaboy is holding out for 300k or you only get one lump. License tax will be going thro the roof to pay this lot off.
Windows Live User
When it says "acting " does it mean pretending? Wonder how much he holds out for when the skids hit? A lesson to be learned for all of us ............. 450k wow
Just heard this.... There is more acting going on within BBC management at the moment than in Eastenders.
Didn't the BBC realise nobody ever trusted them in the first place?
They only listen to their own, skewed polls. According to one I heard of recently, a large majority of us are happy to pay the licence tax.
I cannot imagine life without the BBC . I have great admiration for it as an organisation, both in terms of program quality and investigative journalism, so we do not all feel like you do Adrian.
stick my face on the front of B.B.C for a week and you can pension me of for 80.000 a year i dont mind
To them that have, it will be given. To them that have not, what little they have will be taken away!
"Under the terms of his contract Mr Entwistle was entitled to only six months' pay but the trust said the additional payment had been agreed as a reflection of his continuing involvement with the various BBC inquiries now under way." I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
On northern news last night a huge fat deceased M.P. WAS NAMED .Now all silent he was investigated in the 70`s all hushed up and police reports destroyed.
Saw an interview with the new boy last night. Another bumbler and fumbler, contradicting himself. Trying to sound tough and decisive. No faith left at all in the BBC.