New BBC ‘impartiality’ rules ban staff from saying genocide, human trafficking, Coldplay are bad
BBC journalists have been told they should keep their wackjob opinions on basic human rights to themselves, with bosses keen to safeguard the broadcaster’s unbiased reputation.
New guidelines published today say it is no longer acceptable for staff to take sides - personally or publically - in ‘controversial’ topics like mass murder, neo-Nazism, pedophilia, child labour, and whether the Marvel franchise is real cinema. (Editor's not: It’s not, it’s assembly line sound and vision.)
“There are passionate voices on both sides of these issues,” said BBC director general Dave Timie. “Lest we forget, it is not the role of journalists to report in the public interest, root out injustice, and hold power to account - it is the role of journalists to coddle ignorance and prejudice.”
The guidelines were updated in part due to a controversy last month involving One Show presenter Laura Wagner, who sparked mass indignation by tweeting, “I am enormously grateful for much of the work police do, but surely it’s not controversial to say police brutality is bad?”
Thankfully, Wagner was promptly fired and blacklisted for life following these inflammatory comments, but pressure has been relentless for the BBC to clamp down on ‘politicised’ content and stop bringing up facts during interviews with cabinet ministers.