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The Clarkson Controversy: the Impact of a Freewheeling Presenter on the BBC’s Impartiality, Accountability and Integrity

By L. Kaai


“I’d have them all shot in front of their families,” is part of the comment Jeremy Clarkson made on the 2011 public sector strikes in the UK, causing one of the biggest BBC controversies. This comment is supposedly in conflict with the BBC's values such as impartiality, accountability and integrity as specified in its Royal Charter. Regardless, Clarkson has sparked several controversies, but still is kept as a BBC employee, whereas Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, and Carol Thatcher crossed the line just once, yet immediately were discharged. The question is what makes Clarkson different, and why the BBC does not sanction him, but also whether the BBC’s impartiality and integrity are threatened by keeping Clarkson. This is investigated by scrutinising his columns for The Sunday Times and Top Gear Magazine with regards to the BBC’s values. Moreover, the strike controversy will be the case study for this research by looking at how other media perceived the situation in their columns

Topics: Journalism, Media, International Anglophone Media Studies, Clarkson, Top Gear, BBC, Murdoch, Columns, Controversy, The Sunday Times
Year: 2013
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