NEWS RELEASE

Friday 3rd August 2007

The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) strongly endorses the criticisms voiced today (August 3) by The Rt Hon Lord Fowler, House of Lords Select Committee Chairman, of the way in which the Chairman of the BBC is appointed.

John Thorpe, President of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, welcomes Lord Fowler’s comments on the importance of retaining the BBC’s independence, in light of recent concerns that the BBC is coming under increasing political pressure from the Government..

“We welcome Lord Fowler’s robust statement on the need to take BBC appointments out of the Government’s hands,” says Thorpe. “The BBC’s independence must be sacrosanct, yet there is widespread concern that New Labour is now trying to exercise greater control over the Corporation’s news output.

“BBC News is the benchmark by which so many other media organisations and news outlets worldwide are judged. The new BBC Trust has a golden opportunity to demonstrate its political impartiality and independence. Anything that helps restore faith in the Corporation at this time is welcomed by the Institute.”

-Ends

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