Sunday, July 30, 2006

Global News guru to visit BBC Monitoring

The following submission was received by Pro-Veritas from a verified email account used by BBC Monitoring staff.

Richard Sambrook, the Director of the BBC’s Global News Division, is to visit BBC Monitoring on Tuesday 1 August.

The Global News Division is made up of BBC World Service radio, BBC Monitoring, BBC World television and the BBC's international facing online news services.

In an email to BBC Monitoring staff, Christopher Westcott, the current Director of Monitoring, said that Mr Sambrook “wants to get out and about and meet as many of you as possible - he'll also be hosting an open Q&A at 1330-1430 BST in the Conference Room”. We encourage as many staff as possible to attend the question-and-answer session, which we hope will not be attended by Mr Westcott or any of his so-called “Executive Direction” colleagues.

We welcome Mr Sambrook’s desire to meet staff - a desire which stands in sharp contrast to other BBC bosses who on previous visits to Monitoring almost invariably contented themselves with hiding in the Director’s office, except for brief cameo appearances here and there on the shop floor.

But Mr Sambrook is no typical BBC boss. In his previous life, as head of BBC News, he stood up to the bullying of Tony Blair and his spokesman, Alastair Campbell, during the Andrew Gilligan affair in 2003. Together with the then Director-General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, he showed courage and principle - extremely rare commodities in people at his level in the BBC.

It is our sincere desire that Mr Sambrook will show similar courage and principle during his visit to BBC Monitoring and challenge Mr Westcott on all the issues that we have aired in our postings on this blog, in particular "J’Accuse" and "The reality of cultural transformation at BBC Monitoring".

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