UK

Newsnight: Who reported to whom?

On 2 November, Newsnight broadcast a report in which a man who was sexually abused when living in a children's home in the 1980s blamed a leading Thatcher-era Conservative politician. This led to speculation on the internet, which implicated former Conservative Party treasurer Lord McAlpine.

But the report was based on mistaken identity and the BBC issued an unreserved apology to Lord McAlpine. The fallout from the programme led to the resignation of director general George Entwistle who cited the "unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film".

Before his departure, Mr Entwistle had commissioned a report from BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie into what happened with the Newsnight investigation.

Mr MacQuarrie's report will shed more light on the Newsnight chain of command but what do we know of the structure at present?

When the Savile child abuse allegations became headline news in October and investigations were launched into why Newsnight's original report was shelved, as well as into the culture of the BBC, two senior news editors stepped back from responsibility for editorial oversight of Savile and child abuse coverage because of a potential conflict of interest.

Helen Boaden, director of news and Steve Mitchell, deputy director of news and head of news programmes both recused themselves from Savile and child abuse related stories.

In their stead Adrian Van Klaveren, controller, Radio Five Live was asked by George Entwistle to take over editorial responsibility for stories which covered Savile and child abuse.

Mr Van Klaveren was the senior editorial figure to whom Newsnight referred when planning their report into child abuse in north Wales in the 1980s.

In turn he reported to Peter Johnston, Director, Northern Ireland - a member of the BBC's management board.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon was asked to 'step aside' in October by George Entwistle, pending the outcome of the Savile investigations, and deputy editor Liz Gibbons took over as acting editor for the programme.

The 2 November Newsnight child abuse film was made in collaboration with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit news organisation, and the reporter on the story was former BBC journalist Angus Stickler.