There are still far too many out-and-out Tories, and who knows which way the next head of news will lean?
It seems almost certain that person will be chosen because their face fits – among the mass of other Tory faces that infest the BBC newsroom.
Still, he’s going – to start a media company providing “analysis”. Would that be overtly pro-Tory analysis, by any chance, as opposed to the covertly pro-Tory stuff we get at the BBC?
Many of us on the social media will be delighted, considering recent opinions of Mr Harding’s work:
I’m sorry, I really am but BBC News is TRASH . I don’t trust you anymore Auntie. Thanks
— Lily (@lilyallen) October 9, 2017
No free thinking person trusts BBC News any more. It's a tragedy. Lord Hall and James Harding have destroyed it. https://t.co/dtdi4rvmPp
— Louise Coatz (@louisecoatz) October 10, 2017
— John Traynor (@Mr_JDTraynor) October 10, 2017
James Harding quits as BBC head of news https://t.co/6nNCAcTN9I
BUT…..will this end the systemic bias at the BBC?
I doubt it ????
— Proper Democrat (@ProperDemocrat) October 10, 2017
Delighted that James Harding is ‘moving on’ from @BBCNews. Hopefully we can look forward to some impartial public service broadcasting now.
— John Corney ?? (@johnnyjonjonny) October 10, 2017
James Harding is going to set up his own media venture? I thought the standard career path was BBC -> Conservative Central Office?
— sharkastic (@sharkastic) October 10, 2017
Apparently James Harding's supply runs out in 2018 and some are trading it in for a paddle pic.twitter.com/lJR1qoGw2s
— Craig Hall (@w41gy) October 10, 2017
They have also displayed a certain cynicism regarding any new candidates for the post he is leaving:
Then new Director of News at the BBC will have to go through a vigorous selection process at HSBC & MI5. Lord Evans will preside. Good luck
— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) October 10, 2017
— Cheese Butty (@cheese_butty) October 10, 2017
James Harding is to stand down as director of news and current affairs at the BBC and set up a media company that will offer “a clear point of view”, a perspective the impartial corporation is not allowed to provide.
The £340,000-a-year executive had been considered one of the frontrunners to eventually succeed Tony Hall as director general of the BBC, but his sudden departure leaves the director of radio, James Purnell, as the favourite.
Explaining his decision in a letter to staff, Harding wrote: “There is some journalism that the BBC, for all its brilliance, can’t, and probably shouldn’t, do. And that’s what I want to explore: I am going to start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news and a clear point of view.
“I know I will enjoy the chance to do some more journalism of my own and, at such a critical time, I’m seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news.”
It is understood that Harding, who will leave the BBC early next year, has backers for his project and that it will focus on analysis rather than news. The 48-year-old joined the BBC in 2013, having left his previous role as editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times newspaper the year before.
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