Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Panorama' set to probe 'Newsnight decision

John Fahey

THE BBC will broadcast a Panorama special examining Newsnight's decision to drop an investigation into Jimmy Savile's abuse of children.

The programme -- which as yet does not have a confirmed time slot in the listings but is expected to be aired tomorrow -- will see one BBC flagship pore over the apparent failings of another as the corporation aims to answer questions of editorial integrity.

The Panorama special, which was still being made this weekend, could result in more difficult questions for director general George Entwistle when he appears the next morning at the UK's Commons select committee for Culture, Media and Sport.

The BBC has already announced two inquiries: one into its culture and practices led by Dame Janet Smith, and another by former Sky News boss Nick Pollard probing why Newsnight dropped its programme into Savile's sex abuse.

It is believed Panorama has an extensive email chain between Newsnight staff, including editor Peter Rippon and his investigative reporters who include Liz MacKean and Meirion Jones.

The correspondence is understood to show that Newsnight reporters were focusing on the entertainer's abuse and not, as the corporation later stated, Surrey Police's decision to drop its investigation into the presenter.

Sunday Independent

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