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Straight dealing – The Eye Journal

The Eye
‘This story about employment practices on the BBC will elevate a number of eyebrows!’

Throughout 38 years in journalism (when he was skilled to make use of clear and easy language, avoiding jargon)our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry, has at all times believed within the significance of being straight and appearing with integrity, however in BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW), the place he labored for 23 years this has not at all times been the case, as he was urged to use for a job when the particular person he was assured wouldn’t be a candidate, really secured it. 

Earlier he described how he was assisted in breaking into the South Wales Echo workplace automotive when he was a cub reporter, recalled his early profession as a journalist, the significance of expertise within the job, and making clear that the‘calls’ to emergency providers in addition to court docket circumstances are central to any media operation.

Phil, right here on BBC Cymru Wales At this time in 1988, at all times knew how necessary it was to speak to individuals about what was occurring

He has additionally explored how poorly paid most journalism is when trainee reporters needed to reside in squalid flats, the important position of bills, and about one among his most necessary tales on the now-scrapped 53 year-old BBC Wales TV Present Affairs collection, Week In Week Out (WIWO), which gained an award even after it was axed, lengthy after his profession actually took off.

Phil has defined too how essential it’s really to talk to individuals, the advantage of velocity in addition to accuracy, why information of ‘historical past’ is significant, how sure materials was faraway from TV Present Affairs programmes when secret cameras had for use, and a few of these he has interviewed.

He has disclosed as properly why investigative journalism is required now greater than ever though others have completely different opinions, how the pandemic performed havoc with media schedules, and the significance of the massively decrease common age of some political leaders in contrast with when he began reporting.


In journalism it is important to be seen as straight, and behaving with integrity.

Within the short-term it is perhaps advantagous to be in any other case (maybe in securing an interview for a programme), however within the long-term it’s massively dangerous, as a result of until you might be seen as somebody to belief, individuals is not going to come to you with tales.

It’s to be regretted, due to this fact, that I’ve had private expertise of executives in a single organisation the place I’ve labored when the other perception, apparently, held sway, and the place journalism was central.

Mark O’Callaghan urged Phil to go for the job

The next unlucky sequence of occasions occurred in BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW), some years in the past the place I had labored since 1987.

In 2006, once I was a presenter on the BBC Radio Wales (BBC RW) drivetime programme Good Night Wales (GEW), I used to be requested to see the then Head of Information and Present Affairs, Mark O’Callaghan, who urged me to use for the necessary job of Political Editor. “There’s completely no level”, I instructed him. “Betsan Powys will get it”, I mentioned.

Betsan Powys – a former HTV/ITV Wales Y Byd ar Bedwar reporter

No, I used to be knowledgeable, she isn’t making use of as a result of she believes it will likely be an excessive amount of of a pressure on her household life. This information modified the image solely, and I utilized for the position simply as I had been suggested by my boss.

Within the occasion, although, Ms Powys was persuaded to use. By that stage, nonetheless, it was too late to withdraw my utility, so I used to be compelled to endure a humiliating interview which I knew was a whole farce, and that I used to be simply making up numbers.

Menna Richards, OBE, had been in cost at HTV/ITV Wales. Did she have a job in Betsan Powys’s appointment?

Throughout it, I seen how Mr O’Callaghan was continually glancing at his superior, Menna Richards, who was the Controller of BBC CW from 2000 to 2011. This occurred throughout inquiries to me, and I assumed he was looking for indicators of approval.

Ms Powys, after all, acquired the job, simply as I predicted she would, and this duplicitousness (which is able to by no means be forgotten) was a significant component in my resolution to depart the company, which I duly did after 23 years, on the subsequent redundancy spherical.

I’ve no supporting proof as to why Ms Powys was satisfied to vary her thoughts. A lawyer as soon as instructed me, appropriately: “Motive is sort of not possible to show”.

A promotional image for Welsh language journalism with Menna Richards on the centre, and Betsan Powys to her left

However for critics, her appointment fell into a well-recognized sample. Throughout Ms Richards’ tenure, senior engagements have been made amongst those that had previously labored for her, when she had been employed by HTV Wales/ITV Wales.

Ms Richards had been a reporter and producer for HTV Wales within the Present Affairs division in 1983, together with on the Welsh language present affairs collection, Y Byd ar Bedwar, and rose to develop into Managing Director in 1997. Ms Powys, too, had labored there, and been a reporter on Y Byd ar Bedwar, however she was in no way alone in crossing over from the impartial sector.

Toby Grosvenor may smile in regards to the reality there wasn’t sufficient proof to prosecute him for theft

There was, for instance, Toby Grosvenor, who left his submit at BBC CW underneath a cloud as Head of Operations in 2005.

Since leaving, Mr Grosvenor has repaid the BBC a complete of £315,000 after authorized proceedings have been issued in opposition to him. However the Crown Prosecution Service mentioned that following consideration of recordsdata from a police inquiry, there was inadequate proof for prison proceedings. He was questioned as a part of a South Wales Police (SWP) investigation into allegations of theft in June 2005.

Clare Hudson grew to become a vital determine in tv

One other controversial appointment was Clare Hudson, who grew to become Head of Programmes at BBC CW. In proclaiming on-line the significance of her previous, she has written: “I’ve labored within the media for many of my grownup life – first as a print journalist, then as an investigative reporter and producer for ITV, and later as a programme commissioner for the BBC in Wales.  This has given me an in-depth information of how newsrooms and the media typically (function)”.

Elis Owen went on to develop into Head of Commissioning at BBC Cymru Wales

There have been, although, loads of different circumstances. Elis Owen was Head of Programmes then Managing Director at ITV Wales, however was chosen to develop into Head of Commissioning at BBC CW.

The senior journalist David Williams moved over to be Political Editor at BBC CW (whose job I used to be instructed to use for when he left it). His profession was cemented by exposing the sexual mis-conduct of a senior police officer, and a tv programme was made about it.

The documentary which featured him, Cam-drin Plant: Y Gwir sy’n Lladd (Youngster Abuse: The Reality Kills) on the Welsh-language channel S4C, instructed in regards to the quest of Mr Williams with HTV Wales, ITV Wales and BBC Cymru Wales to find the reality about bodily and sexual youngster abuse at care houses in North Wales.

David Williams moved over

The headline-grabbing presenter of BBC Wales At this time (WT) in addition to the patron affairs programme X-rayLucy Owen, (who performed a contentious affair with the then Editor of BBC Radio Wales [RW] when she had fronted one of many station’s programmes) additionally possesses an intriguing background. She, too, had labored at HTV/ITV Wales.

Her former colleague there, Nicola Heywood Thomas, was made presenter of the BBC Cymru Radio Wales (RW) lunchtime present. I used to be eased out of my position internet hosting the RW programme Wales at One to make means for her (years earlier than the Political Editor affair).

Lucy Owen was not a smart appointment

In an article greater than 10 years in the past about her busy life, it was reported that: “…she has been assembly her commitments as a guide with Arts and Enterprise Cymru, an organisation which builds bridges between the humanities and enterprise”.

There have been others, together with the Chief Working Officer at BBC CW, who nonetheless sits on the board, Gareth Powell, and Sian Thomas, Head of Scheduling and Presentation (now retired).

‘Have you ever heard what they’ve achieved now?!’

As with the appointment of Ms Powys, whispering, and important gossiping quickly adopted.

This type of gossiping, although, is the least of the problems for a journalist who was instructed an individual was not making use of for a emptiness, however then acquired the job…



The recollections of Phil’s a long time lengthy award-winning profession in journalism (together with his years on the BBC) as he was gripped by the uncommon neurological situation, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been launched in a serious e book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!

Book poster

Publication of one other e book, nonetheless, was refused, as a result of it was to have included names.

Tomorrow – why celebrations as a result of Wales is attending the World Cup in Qatar, throw the highlight on large controversies affecting the host nation, together with allegations it paid a whole lot of thousands and thousands of kilos to draw the event, and that homosexuality there may be unlawful.









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