Last night’s BBC Panorama on Jimmy Saville has left me slightly shaken. I cannot quite figure out what the agenda was behind this programme but the outcome was to clear the BBC of any wrong doing’s in not airing the BBC Newsnight report in November 2011.
Are the BBC along with other institutions not to be held accountable for 5 decades of abuse by one of its employees under its guardianship and roof?
I think they are and one of the first measures of responsible behaviour would be to report to the relevant authorities any criminal behaviour even when a programme is not aired. Journalists, editors and management at the BBC failed these victims last year when they chose not to report this after the airing of the Newsnight slot had been pulled.
Yesterday Panorama highlighted one enormous point. Not a single person thought to say someting to the authorities. They didn’t in the 60’s and they didn’t until the ITV documentary earlier this month.
With the rising total of 200 victims, this has got to be one of the worst crimes of child abuse under our noses. We cannot turn back the clock and change what happened in the past but we can damn sure do our best to prevent it from happening in the future. Currently, as citizens, we are not obliged to report a crime relating to child abuse. Shouldn’t this law be changed? Just like aiding and abetting is recognised by the courts in violence, so should failure to report such abuses.
Whilst Panorama broadcast the evidence collated by Newsnight, it failed to answer the biggest question, why was it pulled?