Saturday 9 April 2011

BBC governors were 'gutless bastards' says Dyke

Former BBC director-general Greg Dyke did not disguise his bitterness about the way the BBC governors accepted his resignation over the "sexed-up" dossier affair, rather than stand up to the Tony Blair government, when speaking at the National Association of Press Agencies awards in London last night.

Dyke quipped that if he was still the director-general he would be praising the governors but now he could say some of them had acted like "gutless bastards".

He also claimed that his Nemesis, Blair's press secretary Alastair Campbell, "had changed the relationship between journalists and politicians for ever."

Dyke voiced his concern about the how the economic model that paid for good quality, independent journalism was being eroded in the digital age. He said viewers of television news were now predominantly aged over 50 while "the young are getting their news elsewhere, if at all."

He said: "Every newspaper editor I know is gloomy about the future." Dyke added: "Good independent journalism matters" but the big question was who will fund it in the future?

Dyke, who when he started out as a local newspaper journalist did Saturday shifts at the Cassidy and Leigh news agency, suggested that tv journalist who "wait around for stories" could "learn a lot from spending a few weeks on a news agency where finding stories is the lifeblood."

NAPA ward winners were:

Exclusive story of the year: Andrew Buckwell, London Media Press.
Spec news/sport story: Ben Ellery, Solent News and pictures.
Feature Story of the Year: Marissa Charles, Splash News, and Liam Miller, Barcroft Media.
Picture of the Year: Adam Gasson, South West News.
Picture of the Year (Rest of the World): William Cherry, Press Eye.
Sports Picture of the Year: Carl Recine Action Images.
Special Award: William Cherry, Press Eye.
Kevin Fitzpatrick Award (journalist under 25): Aaron Sharp, Mercury Press.

There were lifetime achievement awards for NAPA president Denis Cassidy and Welsh freelance Derek Bellis.

Pic: Jon Slattery

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