BBC defends report on editor
KUALA LUMPUR: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said its report on the controversy surrounding the departure of New Straits Times Group Editor Brendan Pereira is “entirely legitimate.”
“We are aware of the New Straits Times’ feelings regarding our report on their editor and his planned departure. We feel it was entirely legitimate to report on the controversy surrounding the departure of their aforementioned editor.
“We are currently considering our formal response to the New Straits Times,” a BBC spokesperson said yesterday in an e-mail response from London.
The NSTP on Friday demanded that the BBC immediately retract an online story on Pereira ending his term of service.
It threatened to sue the BBC if the story on Pereira was not retracted. It claimed that the BBC journalist had made no attempt to contact the NSTP to check the “veracity of his story.”
The BBC journalist, Jonathan Kent, in an online article on the BBC website entitled Malaysia Editor in Plagiarism Row, had written that Pereira was stepping down amidst allegations that he plagiarised the work of an American journalist.
The journalist said the similarities between Pereira’s recent article and that of the American journalist were “striking.”
He wrote that Pereira had told the BBC that his departure had been agreed with the paper two weeks before the publication of the controversial article.
The NSTP chief executive officer Datuk Syed Faisal Albar said in an article carried by the newspaper on Friday that Pereira’s article was clearly not plagiarism.
One puzzling question: If NST is so defensive in proving their innocence, why the gag order and using The Star and theSun as proxies to report on this as its online edition still does not carry this story since yesterday?