Since news broke on Friday that a BBC male star had allegedly requested sexually explicit photos from a then-teenager in exchange for cash, many have asked publicly why the name His is not disclosed.
The answer is complex and involves legal and editorial issues for UK news outlets.
One of the main considerations is that the allegations made in The Sun are just – allegations.
It’s unclear if The Sun has seen the evidence, and if so, what it was and who provided it.
Even then, other carriers, including Sky News, have yet to see any evidence and will rely on The Sun’s report.
It’s also unclear if any laws were violated, the contents of the alleged photos and when exactly they were sent.
And as for the BBC, bosses will obviously know who the man at the center of this is, as they have suspended him, but even so, they want to thoroughly investigate the allegations before making them public. his name.
In an email to staff, general manager Tim Davie said the BBC was taking the allegations “extremely seriously”.
He added: “By law, individuals are entitled to a reasonable right to privacy, which is complicating the situation.
“I want to assure you that we are working quickly to establish the truth.”
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As for other shops, the UK has quite strict defamation laws which protect individuals from harm, reputational or otherwise, caused by what has been said about them that out is untrue.
Misunderstandings can destroy a person’s career, personal life, and relationships – so there is considerable risk in naming the man involved in this scandal, ethically, editorially. and legal.
Even inference or insinuation, intentional or not, can cause problems.
It’s worth adding that defamation laws apply not only to journalists but to everyone, so social media users post online that they believe may or may not be relevant. , could still face legal action.
Nicky Campbell is one of presenters at the BBC have indicated that they may be related to the police, after people misnamed him someone involved in this crisis on Twitter.
Usually in journalism with stories involving crime or involving the police, news outlets won’t name someone involved in a crime until they have been charged – although this still has its own set of limitations. exception.
This is because if they are released and the case is dropped, the person named has caused the damage.
When a person is charged, it is a sign that the police trust, or at least have evidence of, someone’s guilt.
(c) Sky Bulletin 2023: Why has the BBC presenter at the center of the allegations not been named publicly?