BBC launches social media review, led by former ITN chief

The BBC has revealed former CEO and editor-in-chief of ITN John Hardie will lead its social media review following the aftermath of Gary Lineker’s suspension over a tweet.

BBC director-general Tim Davie announced earlier this month the PSB will launch a review looking into its social media guidelines.

Hardie who has not previously worked for the BBC will look at the BBC’s guidance covering “individual use of social media”, first published in October 2020, in relation to those working as on-air freelancers outside of News, Current Affairs and Factual journalism.

The review will consider how the BBC applies its guidance, considering the BBC’s Charter commitments to both impartiality and freedom of expression. Future guidance must be easy to understand, practical and deliverable.

The TV exec will explore the following:
Which freelancers are covered by the guidance?
What impartiality requirements should apply to freelancers, if any? If so, how should they be defined?
Are all freelancers covered by the same requirements?

Davie said: “The BBC has important commitments to both impartiality and to freedom of expression. We also have a commitment to those working with us, and for us, to be clear in what we expect from them. The social media guidance is crucial to achieving this, particularly in a fast-paced, ever- changing world of digital media.

“This review will ensure this guidance is clear, proportionate and appropriate – now and in the future.”

Hardie added: “I approach the task with no preconceptions and an open mind. I look forward to hearing from a wide range of voices, from both inside and outside the BBC, as the work progresses.”

Labour also recently undertook an independent review this week regarding the suspension and reinstatement of Gary Lineker on Match of the Day as well as overarching issues relating to impartiality.

While this review takes place BBC’s existing social media guidance remains in place.

Tags: BBC

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