Quick post about confidentiality

posted by Steve Bowbrick

Obvious, I suppose, but as soon as I got my BBC staff pass I started to think differently about what I say here on the blog about the BBC. I’m not worried about upsetting the management or about getting the sack (I don’t really work here – I’m a freelancer) but I am seriously worried about messing things up for the people I speak to. For the record, no one has said anything to me so far that I would classify as inflammatory or mean or against regulations. It’s just that some people have said the kind of open, honest thing that you know might wind up a colleague, make a delicate negotiation more difficult or just be a bit embarrassing.

Meanwhile, the people I’m working with here – Nick Reynolds (editor of the BBC Internet blog), Tony Ageh (something important in BBC Future Media &Technology) and Jem Stone (from Monday something important at BBC Audio & Music) for instance – are urging me to be less timid. “To hell with them! Put the boot in! They can always get great jobs at Channel 4 or ITV or eBay!” (or maybe not). So, for the time being, I think what you’re going to get here will be robust and critical of the organisation and its policies, even of management decisions but probably quite polite about the individuals I meet and the things they tell me. So sue me.


Comments so far.

  1. Posted by ant on Wednesday 8th October

    I know how you feel. By and large everyone is approachable, and though feathers may be ruffled in the short term, you can almost always seek ‘em out and talk it over after if you opinion on first expression causes affront. 2nd hand comments can do more harm and are harder to follow up and ‘remedy’ though, which is where your position, as a reporter of conversations is, perhaps, a little more sensitive.

    However, I always feel toes are there to be trod on, and rarely will anyone take such umbrage that the resulting conversation won’t, in the end, be more productive. Omlettes and eggs sir!

  2. Posted by Nick Reynolds (BBC) on Thursday 9th October

    Of course BBC people should always be polite and respect other’s opinions (and not give away their secrets).

    But sometimes a slightly tougher or playful approach digs out useful information which might otherwise have been hidden.

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