BBC says sorry for salmon sector bias

Photo: BBC

COMMENTS made by BBC presenter Nicky Campbell against Scotland’s salmon industry ‘should have been more accurate’, said the corporation as it apologised for bias.

The head of news at BBC Radio 5 Live, Jonathan Crawford, issued an apology after the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) complained about Campbell’s broadcast earlier this month.

In two programmes, Your Call, which he presented on November 6, and then on 5 Live Breakfast the following day, he claimed the Scottish salmon sector was ‘highly polluting and unregulated’. He also claimed farms were ‘terrible for the environment’.

The SSPO refuted the claims by Campbell as wrong, misleading and factually inaccurate, and argued that he had breached the BBC’s editorial guidelines, both in terms of accuracy and impartiality.

The SSPO also maintained that the BBC should have included the views of those within the salmon sector to balance the bias shown by Campbell.

Crawford said: ‘We always strive to maintain impartiality in any discussions on this issue.

‘In the heat of live radio broadcasts, especially during political interviews, it is sometimes hard to find the best form of words but we accept we fell short in the two programmes you highlighted, and for that I apologise.

‘We should have been more accurate with our language and included wider views on the subject.’

Hamish Macdonell, the director of strategic engagement at the SSPO, said: ‘I am delighted the BBC has acknowledged the mistakes made in these two broadcasts.

‘I’m sure everyone involved in the Scottish salmon sector will hope that inaccurate and partial broadcasting of this sort never happens again on the BBC.’

Macdonell added: ‘I am delighted that the Radio 5 Live production team is keen to take up our offer of a visit to a salmon farm.

‘The best way to correct the myths and misconceptions about our sector is to show as many people as possible what great work is being done by so many people on our world-class salmon farms.’

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