The BBC’s self-absorption has obscured Justin Welby’s real message

Oct 1, 2017 by

by Melanie McDonagh, Spectator:

You have to try really hard to get any idea of what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby actually said in his interview for the BBC Today programme, the one where he said the BBC had acted with less integrity than the Church of England or the Catholic church when it came to the abuse of children by Jimmy Savile. You may well have heard that part because it is what the BBC itself reported on its own news broadcasts and duly, every other news outlet followed its lead.

And the reason you can’t put the remarks in context is that the interview itself hasn’t yet been broadcast – it’s part of a series of interviews with prominent people for the 60th anniversary of the programme next month. For anyone listening to Today this morning, the first thing they heard was the news that the Archbishop had condemned the BBC and only much later did they get the context for that observation, when the programme got round to giving a fuller extract from the actual interview, which is to do with the way society has changed in the six decades of the Today programme. And what was striking was a) that the observations about the BBC were obviously only a small part of his remarks and b) that the other things he had to say were a good deal more interesting.

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