London: The beleaguered BBC is asking its staff to tone down the tweets. Britain's national broadcaster is in crisis over its bungled reporting of a child sex-abuse scandal. Its top executive has resigned, two more have temporarily stepped down and others are facing disciplinary proceedings. Unsurprisingly, some of the BBC's 20,000 staff, including well-known personalities, have taken to social media to discuss its woes.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Tuesday that Fran Unsworth, the newly appointed head of BBC News, had sent an email urging staff to pull together and advising that "it would be helpful if some of our problems were not played out publicly across social media and in the pages of the national press." The BBC confirmed that Unsworth "did send an email of that nature."
The missive from Unsworth came as Norfolk police said a former BBC radio presenter has been charged with 18 sexual offenses against children. Police said Michael Souter, who formerly worked for BBC Radio Norfolk, was charged with the offenses against boys, which allegedly took place between 1979 and 1999 in Norfolk.
Souter, 59, also was charged with an offense against a man and another against a woman, police added. Souter's website says he spent nine years at the BBC producing and presenting programmes for radio and TV. In 1989, he set up his own media relations consultancy, according to the website. Police said he will appear in court on November 30 to face the charges.