BBC issues new guidelines for online journalism

The BBC Trust unveiled new draft editorial guidelines yesterday to clean up the content its journalists publish on the web.

The Trust said journalists should not publish anything that they would not say on air.

As with televised news, the BBC is urging its reporters to avoid showing their own opinion in online articles, stressing the importance of impartiality.

The draft guidelines state:

“Nothing should be written by journalists and presenters that would not be said on-air…

“Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC programmes or other BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists and presenters on such matters.

“This applies as much to online content as it does to news bulletins. Nothing should be written by journalists and presenters that would not be said on-air”.

The Guardian suggested the new guidelines were in response to Jeremy Bowen’s article on the BBC News website in April.

The Middle-East editor was censured by the BBC after his comments on post-war Israel.

These online editorial guidelines come as part of a wider five-year reform covering everything from bad language to impartiality across all BBC output.



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