In response to David Miller's article published on Scoop.co.nz on 24 March entitled 'BBC Say ''Fake Journalists' Will Not Be Used Again''. From Charles Foster, Controller BFBS Radio & Helen Williams, Controller BFBS TV
RE: David Miller's Article On Scoop.Co.Nz 24 March 2005
Scoop Independent News
8 April 2005
Re: British Forces Broadcasting Service
Following David Miller’s article ‘BBC Say ‘Fake Journalists’ Will Not Be Used Again’ published on Scoop.co.nz on 24 March 2005, British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Radio and Television would like to state that we are editorially independent from the Ministry of Defence. This independence is enshrined within the contract that Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC, the parent group) has with the MoD.
BFBS enjoys unfettered reporting and the staff of more than 100 broadcasters take exception to allegations of bias which undermines the credibility of the service. Additionally it is an insult to the intelligence of thousands of British military personnel to suggest that they are spoonfed propaganda laundered by BFBS.
BFBS reporting sits alongside the BBC, ITV News and IRN; if we were to employ such a cynical manipulation of information, as suggested within David Miller’s article, we would be entirely discredited with both our audience and our peers. All BFBS staff rigorously follow industry standards regarding independence, balance and accuracy and are categorically not purveyors of propaganda.
Controller BFBS Radio
Helen Williams, Controller BFBS TV
Sat 9 April in
The Controllers of BFBS Radio and BFBS TV have responded to the Spinwatch artilce revealing the use of 'fake journalists' on the BBC. In a letter to Spinwatch they claim that the SSVC is 'independent' of the Ministry of Defence that their staff 'take exception' to allegations of bias and that they are'categorically not purveyors of propaganda'. Further they state that if they were to practice such 'cynical manipulation' they would be 'utterly discredited both with their audience and their peers' (text of letter below). Sadly for BFBS they are already discredited with their alleged 'peers' who work in the real world of journalism as opposed to the morale boosting twilight world of propaganda. This is plain from the fact that the BBC have now pledged not to use any more of their reports. Their use has been declared 'not ideal' by Stephen Whittle, the Controller of Editorial Policy at the BBC in an email to Spinwatch.