BBC apologises for Nicky Campbell breaking impartiality guidelines over salmon farming comments

editorial staff

BBC presenter said Scottish salmon farming sector was “highly polluting and unregulated”.

The SSPO has issued a press release showing that the Head of News at BBC Radio 5 Live has issued an apology for comments made by high-profile BBC radio broadcaster Nicky Campbell, earlier this month.

The trade organisaton complained to the BBC following remarks made by Campbell on both the “Your Call” programme, which he presented, on 06.11.19 and then on 5 Live “Breakfast”, again the following day.

Campbell 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, making it clear they were wrong, misleading and factually inaccurate. The SSPO argued that, by making such unfounded and biased remarks, Mr Campbell 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 Mr Campbell,” the SSPO wrote.

Jonathan Crawford the Head of News at BBC Radio 5 Live responded and apologised for the mistakes made by the former Wheel of Fortune Host.

In response, 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.”

Director of Strategic Engagement SSPO Hamish Macdonell who initiated the complaint 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.”

“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,” Macdonell added.