As it transpired, I thought that Blackfen came out of the whole programme rather well, and, although I felt more could have been made of the (very articulate) young people in our parish, I do understand that not everything can be used in the final programme.
However, it seems that not all BBC journalism is as unbiased - Independent Catholic News carries a report of a shocking breach of trust by a BBC journalist in a North London parish.
Barbara O'Driscoll, a parishioner who was present at the Mass and saw exactly what happened felt so strongly that she wrote to Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC. She concluded that the BBC had misrepresented the parish and parishioners:
Penelope Middelboe, of the newly created Catholic Voices for Reform (May 2010) was shown attending the service at St John Vianney’s, including a close-up, and being interviewed outside the church, giving the impression that she was a parishioner and supposedly a spokesperson for the parish. (I do not understand why she was brought to St John Vianney’s when the interview could have been held elsewhere.)
When the reporter Robert Pigott was speaking, parishioners were shown in the background leaving the church. He said: "The poll shows that large numbers of ordinary Catholics are, by disputing important teachings on issues like celibacy and the role of women, prepared to challenge the Pope’s view on exactly what the church’s message should be".
The report does not show any of our parishioners expressing their opinions. So this could be understood that those parishioners who were filmed leaving the church shared the views of what the reporter referred to as 'ordinary Catholics'.?
It pains and saddens me that I now have to question the integrity of the BBC. It deceived our parish priest and did not do what it had explicitly received permission for, which was to seek the opinions of parishioners at St John Vianney’s.
I'm afraid that I have long distrusted anything produced by the BBC on the subject of Catholicism. It does make me wonder about the integrity of the BBC in other areas...