Document:Is The BBC Anti-Labour?
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IS THE BBC ANTI-LABOUR?
On 10 December 2019 – two days before the General Election – we will know if Panorama has won the Politics Journalism prize in the 2019 British Journalism Awards for its programme "Is Labour Anti-Semitic?" If presenter John Ware, director Leo Telling, executive editor Neil Grant and Panorama editor Rachel Jupp win, it will be a bad day for journalism in the UK. Labour branded the 59-minute film, broadcast on July 10, an “authored polemic” by John Ware, a reporter who has made no secret of his personal contempt for Jeremy Corbyn. Labour also condemned the programme as “an overtly onesided intervention in political controversy by the BBC”. The Corporation hit back saying the “BBC stands by its journalism…we completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty.”
We believe Labour’s criticisms are sound – the broadcast was a piece of biased journalism.
The first part of this report is taken up with a detailed “charge sheet” which shows how the Panorama programme systematically broke key sections of the BBC’s own Editorial Guidelines.
The second is a reprint of a more general article which has just appeared in the international magazine ColdType, based in Toronto. There’s little or no appetite for this type of reporting in British mainstream media.
JOHN WARE v PADDY FRENCH
Press Gang is contesting the action.
This appeal is to help pay the substantial costs of instructing solicitors to fight these potential libel proceedings.
Ware claims this pamphlet is seriously defamatory.
— a full retraction of all Press Gang criticisms
— an apology
— a statement to be read out in open court and
— payment of substantial damages and legal costs.
He has also taken out insurance which limits Ware's exposure should he lose.
It also means that if Press Gang fails to win, the website will be liable for the cost of the insurance.
In a statement, issued today (April 15) Paddy French said:
- “It's clear John Ware feels our report is an attack on his professional integrity.”
- “Press Gang feels equally strongly that the report met the highest standards of ethical journalism — and we will be defending it strongly”
- "We're confident our report was a fair criticism of a contentious piece of broadcasting and that a court will agree with us."
- "But we cannot get to that point without your crowdfunding help."