North Korea, the BBC and future risk assessments

20 March 2014

The British Academy and the Royal Society note this week’s findings of the BBC Trust that last year’s Panorama programme on North Korea breached some of the BBC’s editorial guidelines and as a result “created risk of harm to the LSE’s reputation”.  The Presidents of the two academies, Lord Stern and Sir Paul Nurse, met the BBC Director-General Lord Hall in June 2013 to express their concerns on behalf of the wider academic community about the risk to academic researchers in connection with undercover reporting.  At that meeting the BBC agreed that “in future risk assessments the BBC would recognise risks to academics/researchers that may arise directly or indirectly from the making of certain programmes if academic cover is used, or could be perceived to have been used, in connection with undercover reporting activities.”  The agreed statement issued after that meeting can be seen here.

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