Scandal-ridden BBC News launches campaign film about trust

Featuring a host of well-known BBC journalists, including Clive Myrie, Orla Guerin, Lyse Doucet and Jeremy Bowen, a new two-minute film reveals the BBC’s robust newsgathering and editorial process using a combination of real behind-the-scenes footage and BBC News clips.

Last month, the UK broadcaster paid £1.4 million in compensation to atone for the now infamous Panorama interview with Princess Diana. The interview was secured under allegedly false pretences by now disgraced reporter Martin Bashir. 

The film brings the BBC’s rigorous Editorial Guidelines to life, showcasing how they drive and guide accurate and impartial reporting, trusted by audiences around the world. 

The message is poignantly illustrated through footage gathered by the BBC in Ukraine over recent months.

Trust and the BBC

Excerpts from the Guidelines on gathering material appears on-screen, as journalists in protective clothing speak to people on the ground, witness crowds of people fleeing the country, walk through buildings destroyed by war and hold editorial meetings.

Clips of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin feature alongside shocking images of reporters and civilians caught in the middle of live fighting. 

Viewers see combat aircraft above, whilst the sound of gunshots and bomb explosions can be heard amidst instructions to “get down, get down.”

The film ends as Clive Myrie receives the countdown ahead of a live broadcast on BBC News that will be seen by millions of people. The screen displays the message: “If you know how it’s made, you can trust what it says. Trust is earned.”

“Accurate, impartial reporting is needed now more than ever”, said Myrie. 

“The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, which are at the heart of our journalism, ensures this is delivered to our audiences at home and abroad”. 

“This film gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Guidelines in practice, when we’re putting news stories together”. 

“Whether I’m covering a story or presenting the News, the Guidelines are absolutely vital, as they enable high-quality news that our audiences trust and deserve.”

The film is by BBC Creative, the BBC’s BAFTA-award winning in-house creative agency, and is the first in a new brand campaign series for the BBC which seeks to demonstrate how the BBC earns people’s trust, giving us a glimpse of the humans at the heart of the news.

Rasmus Smith Bech, Creative Director, BBC Creative, said: “The ‘Trust is earned’ film shows the reality of news teams working on the ground, as they’re steered by the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines – it takes effort and energy, but above all humanity”.

“I can’t imagine a more relevant message to put into the world right now. It’s been an absolute privilege to bring the guidelines to life and show how trust in the BBC is something that is continually earned, every day.”

The two-minute film was televised for the first time on BBC One on Sunday evening (25 September) after Bloodlands and before the BBC News at Ten. 

It will appear, in various lengths, across the BBC’s linear channels, social media channels and on BBC iPlayer.