for diverse, democratic and accountable media
In a week when the BBC has been hit by yet more scandal as a result of suppressing an investigation into the notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile, we ask: does the BBC need an investigations unit?
The BBC has more journalists than any other media outlet in Britain, but out of those 4,000 men and women, yes 4,000, precisely none of them work in an investigations unit. The Sunday Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Mail have far less journalists between them but they all maintain centralized investigations units.
At the same time the BBC thinks it right to employ between 150 and 200 press officers. Yes, the BBC’s budget is being squeezed mercilessly, but it is about priorities. Newspaper hacks are judged by their ability to find news. They complain that many BBC journalists go through whole careers without breaking a story.