The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Day: 16 November 2012

Libel damages and Lord McAlpine: did the BBC pay too much?

There is no doubt that Lord McAlpine has been badly treated by the BBC. The Newsnight broadcast on 2 November 2012 about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s referred to “a leading Tory politician of the Thatcher era”.  Although he was not mentioned by name, this individual being referred to was Lord McAlpine.  He was identified before transmission on Twitter and was foreseeably identified afterwards by large numbers of people.  The report was wrong – as the BBC admitted on 10 November 2012.  It issued an unreserved apology. Continue reading

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