Thursday, 2 February 2012

BBC uses former Kremlin adviser as main consultant for series on Putin´s Russia

The BBC offers Vladimir Putin a helping hand

The once great BBC again shows its true colours. The overall narrative in a new documentary series on Russia is slanted towards the country´s corrupted - and according to many observers criminal - dictator Vladimir Putin. No wonder, because the main consultant to the series, former BBC Moscow correspondent Angus Roxburgh, worked for three years from 2006 as an adviser to the Russian government:

Angus Roxburgh is well known to the British public as a former BBC Moscow correspondent. Much more relevant is the fact that Mr Roxburgh was a public relations consultant to the Kremlin for three years between 2006 and 2009. I have no doubt that he is a man of integrity, but it is profoundly shocking that the BBC should even have considered using him, given the nature of his previous employment.
Just imagine the outcry if the BBC were to employ President Ahmadinejad’s former spin consultant when making a film about Iran, or a former Tory central office type when making a film about David Cameron in a British election year.
So why is Roxburgh acceptable? I have been hearing very sad and alarming accounts about the BBC’s coverage of Putin’s Russia for over a decade. Those wanting to learn more can read an article written by the former BBC producer Masha Karp in Standpoint magazine in November 2010, which tells how her programme about the death of Alexander Litvinenko was suppressed by the World Service.
There are other such stories. As The Guardian correspondent Luke Harding records in his recent book, Mafia State, “the BBC Moscow bureau in particular is extremely reluctant to report on stories that might offend the Kremlin”.
The elections on March 4 are of huge importance. If he wins, Vladimir Putin can look forward to a further 12 years in power, making him the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin. Some good judges believe that this outcome might plunge Russia into a new dark age. How fortunate for Putin that he has a useful idiot in Jonathan Powell and a fearful news organisation like the BBC to make life easy for him.

Read the entire Telegraph article here

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