Traitors or toadies? [The BBC: myth of a public service, by Mills, Tom (Verso, pp266, £16.99)]

Winston, Brian (2017) Traitors or toadies? [The BBC: myth of a public service, by Mills, Tom (Verso, pp266, £16.99)]. British Journalism Review, 28 (1). pp. 69-71. ISSN 0956-4748

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Item Type:Review
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From 1934 until 1984 that bastion of journalist integrity, the national treasure that is the BBC, had MI5 vet all editorially sensitive job candidates for possible subversive opinions and connections (for example, in the 1930s, the Relief Committee for Victims of German Fascism). The BBC demanded that the department do this with such enthusiasm that the spooks more than once complained of the workload.

Unreliables finished up (as Mark Hollingsworth and Richard Norton-Taylor reported in 1988) with “a buff folder with a round red sticker, stamped with the legend SECRET and a symbol which looked like a Christmas tree”. I have never dared ask to see mine – for I cannot face the shame of discovering that I did not merit the Christmas tree. Were it not there, such clear evidence of champagne socialist pretentions would not be bearable. Tom Mills, in The BBC: Myth of a Public Service, puts my fear into properly evidenced context.

Keywords:Journalism, BBC
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
ID Code:29872
Deposited On:01 Dec 2017 10:14

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