View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
July 13, 2009

Peter Sissons: I was no longer comfortable at BBC News

By paulmcnally

Veteran TV newsreader Peter Sissons has explained in a piece for the Mail on Sunday what prompted him to leave BBC News after 20 years.

Here are some selected quotes:

“At today’s BBC, a complaint I often heard from senior producers was that they dared not reprimand their subordinates for basic journalistic mistakes – such as getting ages, dates, titles and even football scores wrong – it being politically incorrect to risk offending them.”

“The BBC’s huge newsroom has too many people in it who are more interested in the technology of the multimedia world, rather than boring old things such as words. For many of them, it is not a newsroom but a news-processing plant.”

“When things go well those leading the BBC’s journalism are quick to share the credit, but when things go wrong they can hang you out to dry.”

“I was no longer comfortable at BBC News. It remains an iconic organisation, but it stands at the crossroads. The many good friends of mine in the newsroom always complain privately about the surplus of bureaucracy and the lack of leadership. The people at the top of the BBC seem to confuse the two.”

Content from our partners
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network