Kevin Marsh, ex-Executive Editor, BBC College of Journalism, on Issues of Impartiality in News and Current Affairs
BBC’s earliest interpretations of impartiality were very simple. They did not require any elaboration so long as the public discourse appeared bipolar: There was the government on the one hand and the opposition on the other; there was capital, there was labor. But by the turn of this century, the BBC found itself in a position in which it became extremely difficult for its editors to apply and practice impartiality as before. Dramatic changes and transformations within the British society and the world at large prompted the BBC to come up with new defining values for impartiality. This article traces how the BBC developed its own standards and practices of impartiality in news and current affairs in the decades since its establishment in 1922.
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