The Head of the BBC news service, James Harding has been reprimanded by the Director General after there were numerous complaints by TV license holders.
It seems that on the 7th of June of this year, the BBC's main news page did not have a Middle Eastern news article dominating the headlines. A Putney-based web enthusiast, Henry Marsh, has confirmed this, by referring to the 'Way Back machine', an Internet archive site (see below for link).
More than 150 complaints were received by the BBC, and the top brass immediately launches an investigation. Following a Freedom of Information request by Mr. Marsh, which surprisingly resulted in a straight-forward response, the BBC have indeed confirmed the glaring omission, and reprimanded Mr. Harding.
Mr. Harding was unavailable for comment, but a BBC representative gave a written statement to the press:
Since 2001, the BBC has managed almost non-stop Middle East coverage. Afghanistan, Iraq and the Arab Spring nations have all done their part in ensuring this can continue. In the past, we have managed to mitigate the chances of such an occurrence of this incident by padding out the news with stories from nearby areas, such as India, Pakistan and Somalia. During the worst times, we fall back on Turkey and Georgia, as they are as near as dammit.
The incident in question occurred due to a number of factors:
(1) No fewer than three Middle East reporters were, at the time on their holidays.
(2) A further four reporters were in transit from one Middle Eastern country to another.
(3) A new employee at the BBC's news office had mistakenly assumed that too much news coverage of one sort might be biased (we have since re-trained them to realise that in the case of the Middle East, this rule does not apply).
(4) It was a slow day for Middle East news, but there were many UK-based events, which divided our staff members' levels of attention to this problem.
The BBC always strives to maintain its high standards, and following the incident, we have put in place additional safeguards to ensure that this outrage is not repeated, including:
(1) The addition of 'from this angle', 'that angle' and 'the angle of someone who doesn't live there any more, doesn't want to live there any more, but is happy to talk about it, as long as we give them a slap up lunch and a wad of cash for their taxi'.
(2) Changes to news listing systems, so that when the current and planned articles hits less than five in total, all news managers and editors receive e-mails and texts alerting them of the problem.
(3) Additional interviews of more left-wing politicians, who are desperate for coverage of anything other than Ed Miliband, and will pad out time a bit more for the fees detailed in (1).
We hope that the license fee payers understand that as an independent and objective news service, we can and do make mistakes occasionally. As such, we apologise unreservedly, and wish everyone a happy Shawwāl.
A politician of a right of centre political party gave a short statement:
This is exactly the sort of thing we have been highlighting for years. Middle East, Middle East, Middle East! Do we ever hear much from the Middle West though?
We left the politician scouring local news articles from Kansas, Wolverhampton, and Poitiers.