The BBC issued an apology yesterday, to 74 million BBC World News viewers around the world for breaking ‘rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity’.
The broadcaster has advised it will change its management of TV documentaries after showing a number of them made by FBC Media, whose PR client list included foreign governments and multinational companies.
The company made eight documentaries for the BBC about Malaysia, but failed to declare it was paid €20million by the Malaysian government for ‘global strategic communications’.
FBC also made a documentary about the riots in Egypt for the BBC without declaring that they were paid to do PR for former dictator Mubarak’s regime.
In November, the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee identified 15 breaches of editorial guidelines since FBC closed its London offices and went into administration in October.
A BBC spokesman said, ‘We have accepted the BBC Trust’s findings and [have] also apologised to viewers. We are committed to the highest standards of broadcasting. Since these issues were raised, we’ve brought forward a series of changes to tighten our systems and strengthen the protection of our editorial independence.’