The BBC Ministry of Truth

Room 105 at the BBC was where candidates for positions of influence were/are vetted. Files were routinely passed to the security services for study and those whose views did not align with the anti-left establishment were refused employment. This political blacklisting, reminiscent of McCarthyism in the US, was not always applied, 'charwomen' job vacancies were open to all. BBC management made robust denials of the practice which worked to deter the occasional inquisitive newspaper journalist. There was occasional concern that if the scale of vetting became publicly known, it "would be grounds for ridicule and vilification".

Isabel Hilton discovered she had been blacklisted (and on what turned out to be spurious grounds that were never overturned), and says 'beyond the particulars of my own case, I felt that the BBC had betrayed public trust by promoting a system in the UK by which the secret police were licensing and blacklisting journalists. Whenever I hear the BBC boasting about its fine traditions of journalism, I feel a minor stab of outrage.'

The vetting may or may not be so heavy-handed at the moment but their institutionalised viewpoint is as clear to see as it ever was. What is more ironic, in view of their heavily biased one-dimensional news coverage in the last few years is the attempt to present as being at the lead to challenge 'fake news'.



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