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BBC showed 'basic' journalistic failings in abuse story

Published on Nov 13, 2012 5:59 AM
The BBC headquarters at New Broadcasting House is seen in London on Nov 12, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - The BBC showed "basic" journalistic failures in a news report in which it wrongly accused a senior politician of child abuse, an internal investigation found on Monday.

The findings came after the BBC's acting director-general Tim Davie pledged to "get a grip" of the deepening crisis at the world's largest publicly funded broadcaster as two top news executives stood aside.

The investigation into the allegations that a former Conservative party treasurer, Alistair McAlpine, had abused children at a home in Wales in the 1970s found there had been a failure to complete "basic journalistic checks".

The report by the BBC's Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie found that journalists on the flagship Newsnight programme which broadcast the claims had failed to show the politician's accuser a photograph of Mr McAlpine.

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