Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

BBC chiefs plan talks on Newsnight

Lord Patten said he would be meeting with Tim Davie, the acting director-general of the BBC, to discuss the future of Newsnight

BBC bosses will discuss the future of Newsnight, the chairman of the Corporation's Trust has said.

Lord Patten said he would be meeting with Tim Davie, the acting director-general of the BBC, to discuss the future of the flagship programme.

The future of Newsnight is in doubt following former director-general George Entwistle's resignation.

The announcement came after he admitted he did not know beforehand that Newsnight planned to broadcast allegations linking a senior Tory to the abuse scandal at a North Wales children's home. The allegations have since been exposed as defamatory and false.

Asked whether Newsnight could now survive, Lord Patten told Sky's Murnaghan programme: "That's one of the things we will be discussing with the acting director-general today.

"I think one of the things that should survive is the investigative journalism which it has represented along with Panorama. At the heart of our news offering has to be uncompromising investigative journalism but you have to get it right."

Lord Patten said his own position would be under scrutiny if he failed to restore public trust in the BBC.

But he said he would not be bullied into resigning by newspapers owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Lord Patten said: "I think my job now is to make sure that we learn the lessons from this crisis... that we get to grips with the issues raised in the investigation of Newsnight and we put those things right.

"If we don't do that and we don't restore the huge confidence and trust that people have in the BBC, then I'm sure people will tell me to take my cards and clear off."

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