BBC hits back at ‘cannibalistic’ claim

A senior BBC man has hit back at claims by a local newspaper journalist in Kent who accused the Beeb’s South East operation of lifting stories from the press.

The outburst came after a study carried out in Northamptonshire on behalf of the BBC and Newspaper Society found that “of the 400 stories that went out on the local BBC radio station over a month only 11 originated from local papers”.

But an anonymous source told Press Gazette that the opposite was true in his region, and gave several examples of the BBC’s “cannibalistic” attitude towards the press.

The comments have got under the skin of Tim Bishop, head of region for BBC East, who has responded by saying that such “anonymous anecdotal ranting” was exactly what prompted the recent fact-establishing research.

“At the simplest level with no daily newspapers left in Kent the seven-day-a-week BBC regional news operation might struggle a bit if it was so completely reliant on newspaper copy,” said Bishop.

“The truth is far more banal. The majority of content in most news outlets is not startlingly original material, in both the published academic research and in this project most of the content is gathered in far more prosaic ways. During the project, coverage around Remembrance Sunday and the fact it snowed were far more significant as triggers for stories for both papers and broadcast media than the sort of exclusive journalism ‘Anonymous’ is laying claim to.”

To read Bishop’s riposte in full, visit Press Gazette.

(Source: Press Gazette)

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