DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell who is also the Party’s spokesman on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in Westminster has given a cautious welcome to new steps being taking by the BBC Director General to register external sources of income for BBC Talent.
Mr Campbell said,
“In Northern Ireland we have BBC talent who have extens iveinterests outside their BBC role but so far the public, their paymasters, have been kept in the dark about these interests whether it is in commerce, the arts or public policy. It is good news that steps are being taken to end this secrecy.
As politicians, paid by the public purse, we must maintain a register of interests, that should also be the case for the BBC. My concern however is that the Director General may not go all the way to create a published live register of interests for BBC employees. That is a mistake. We need maximum transparency.
If a publicly paid journalist, working for the BBC, asks a question about the arts or theatres, the audience have the right to know whether that journalist has a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in that sector.
I have written to the Director General asking for the complete details of the policy and pressing him to embrace transparency and ensure BBC employees have their register of interests readily available to the audience online in the same way as other public servants have.
This transparency campaign some of us have demanded of the BBC has come a distance but there is still some way to go.”