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BBC EU Referendum

"We will stand up for ourselves" - BBC news director issues EU referendum editorial guidelines


By Gillian West, Social media manager

February 21, 2016 | 2 min read

James Harding, the director of BBC News, has issued editorial guidelines to BBC staff in the run up the the EU Referendum.

Revealed in a tweet from The Times' media editor, Beth Rigby, the email from Harding states: "Our job is to ensure people can go to the polling booth with all the information to make their choice. Our task is to ensure that our coverage engages all age groups, all communities and all parts of the country."

The email adds the BBC's impartiality is "more prized and under more pressure than ever" and that the BBC "is going to be particularly closely watched on the issue of EU membership."

The email also sees all staff warned not to say anything on social media that they couldn't say on air. Additionally it revealed all BBC journalists would be required to attend "mandatory training on the institutions of the European Union and its relationship with the UK" from next week.

"When we make mistakes, our aim is to recognise them, address them and apologise as promptly as possible," writes Harding. "And we will stand up for ourselves. There will be campaigners who seek to game the coverage to promote their cause. They will get short shrift. We answer to our audience."

The UK will go to the polls on Thursday 23 June to decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union.

BBC EU Referendum

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