Those who have misinterpreted my evidence to the House of Lords’ communications committee and fear that the BBC’s airwaves are about to feature legions of flat-Earthers may be disappointed (Letters, 14 January). That is not about to happen. Nor, on the rare occasions in which they feature, are their views about to be given equivalence with the science which proves the Earth is spherical.
Nonetheless, the BBC’s impartiality does require that we will feature views that not all Guardian readers would approve of and that may, occasionally, not always have scientific proof on their side. And that is not just because people of all views and none pay for the BBC, and audiences should expect their views to be represented – even minimally – somewhere and to some extent. The BBC’s editorial guidelines’ requirement to give “due weight” to opinions will mean that the more extensively views are held the more they should addressed by the BBC. But addressing them is not the same as endorsing them, and unscientific or unevidenced claims will continue to be challenged or contextualised with the scientific and factual evidence.
Director, editorial policy and standards, BBC
• What is the reason for the visceral hostility of many Conservatives towards the BBC (BBC funding ‘up for discussion’, says Nadine Dorries, as licence fee frozen, 17 January)? Government ministers are continually harping on about Britain being a world-beating this and a world-beating that, yet this country’s one undisputed global leadership is in broadcasting, where the BBC sets the standard. However, what many Tories cannot stomach is that the BBC is a triumph of public enterprise, not private ownership.
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