The full report by Ken MacQuarrie into the November 2 broadcast has been published today (December 19), alongside the findings of the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee.
> Read the full Finding of the Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust
The executive's main findings were as follows:
- Basic journalistic checks on the story were not applied.
- The Newsnight team did not make adequate attempts to seek validation for the story beyond what the reporter delivered.
- The management of the story was inadequate.
- Jigsaw identification of Lord McAlpine became possible and this risk increased during the day leading up to the broadcast.
- The decision to broadcast the Newsnight report was wrong.
Consequently, the audience had been misled, and with the combination of online speculation, McAlpine had been wrongly identified as an abuser.
The trustees put on record an apology to McAlpine for the "grave breach" and "serious failure of BBC journalism".
Today also saw the publication of the Pollard Review into the axing of a Newsnight investigation into alleged sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile.
Ex-Sky News head Pollard found that while then-Newsnight editor Peter Rippon's decision to drop the programme was "flawed", it was also taken in "good faith" and from concerns of a clash with planned tribute programmes for Savile, who had died that October at the age of 84.