Recent posts in my Daily Telegraph Category

June 30, 2011

Toby Young, Johann Hari, “stealth edits” and article metadata

A Storify looking at the timeline of edits on Toby Young’s blog about Johann Hari yesterday, and what they tell us about “stealth edits” and article metadata

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March 17, 2011

The Telegraph's Conrad Quilty-Harper on why crime maps are rubbish

Over the last couple of days I’ve been blogging my notes from a panel about the reporting of crime statistics I attended at the “Data and news sourcing” event co-sponsored by the Media Standards Trust and the BBC College of Journalism. So far I’ve published posts looking at what was said by Michael Blastland, Andrew Trotter and Dominic Casciani. The final talk on the crime panel was from Telegraph data reporter Conrad Quilty-Harper, and here are my notes from the session.

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February 9, 2011

BBC Sport defends itself against accusations of selling paid SEO links on BBC Online

There has been a bit of a storm in a teacup this week over whether the BBC is selling links on the BBC Sport site, prompted by this blog post from Sam Rutley. Lewis Wiltshire, Editor of the BBC Sport site, has utterly refuted the claims. Most news organisations are a little naive about the cash value of links on their domains.

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June 2, 2010

Whitehaven shootings illustrate the Facebook 'Like' problem for news

Online coverage of the Whitehaven shootings illustrate why the Facebook 'like' button is unsuitable for generic use on all news stories.

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May 5, 2010

The digital general election - online design slideshow and video

During the course of the election campaign I've been making a gallery of screenshots of online news coverage, with a particular focus on the design of interactive tools and maps. I've put them together into a Flickr set, and made a short video compilation of them.

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March 10, 2010

Whatever Paul Waugh thinks, The Guardian's MPs Expenses crowd-sourcing experiment was no "total failure"

In describing The Guardian's MPs Expenses crowd-sourcing experiment as a "total failure", the Evening Standard's Paul Waugh gives us a glimpse of one of the reasons the traditional media industry finds it hard to innovate with technology.

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January 29, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 4 - British and American online newspapers

I started this series looking at some of the British press coverage in print of the African Cup of Nations, and today I wanted to look a little bit further at online coverage in the main papers. My impression - and this is an unscientific one - is that there has been more coverage of the tournament than in previous years. I think this is in part because it allows news organisations to gear up for covering another football...
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October 26, 2009

Live-blogging the BNP on Question Time across the web

Live-blogging the BNP on Question Time
A look at how newspapers and political blogs covered Nick Griffin's BBC appearance online.

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October 6, 2009

Revenue share deal spikes newspaper guns about England's pay-per-view Internet World Cup qualifier

The confirmation that England's World Cup match against Ukraine will only be available pay-per-view on the Internet reminds me of 2000, when an away game against Finland was only available on short-lived and obscure pay TV service u>direct. Perform, the rights holders this time around, have made a shrewd move in allowing newspaper websites to sell the game on a revenue share basis. Whilst I'm not suggesting filthy lucre has unduly influenced editorial decisions, it is certainly a lot...
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June 26, 2009

How major publishers are using social media to drive traffic - Part 3

This is the third of a series of posts based on a talk I gave during May 2009 at WebCertain's "International Social Media Summit" in London. You can find the first part here, and view the original presentation slides on SlideShare. The social bookmarking feedback loop The ratings you get on social bookmarking sites are valuable feedback, and some major news publishers utilise them to add value to their site. The Telegraph, for example, has a 'Most Dugg' widget...
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Michael Jackson's death sweeps BBC expenses from the front pages

"Michael Jackson's death spares the BBC"
What would have been on Friday's front pages.

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June 18, 2009

MPs expenses, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and the 'open' and 'closed' models of 21st century journalism

"MPs Expenses and 'open' and 'closed' journalism"
How the contrasting approaches of The Telegraph and The Guardian to the MPs expenses data demonstrates debates about digital journalism.

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June 5, 2009

Spector Twitter hoax shows online honesty gap between bloggers and newspapers

Earlier this week Joanna Geary blogged about the Birmingham Mail's decision to hold a story about ex-Villa player Gareth Barry back from the web in order to maximise exposure in print. That story is interesting enough in itself, but I wanted to look at something about the culture of blogging that was revealed. Joanna initially got her facts wrong.She'd got the time the web version of the story had been published wrong, and in a great display of social media...
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May 28, 2009

Newspapers on the go - The Times and The Telegraph

Back in March The Guardian launched a specifically formatted mobile version of the site at At the time I thought it might be worth having a quick poke around to see what other newspapers in the UK were doing with their sites in the mobile space. Since then it seems that I've been at so many different digital media and journalism events or gigs that I never got round to blogging about what I saw. Here are some of...
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May 16, 2009

The ethics of ad-blocking

Shane Richmond blogged this week about newspapers and paywalls - a topic to which we all seem wedded at the moment, whether proposing them or naysaying them. Something caught my eye in the comments, which I initially filed under "unintentionally funny". Truth's Revenge said: "'How will the Telegraph make money?' is a more pertinent question for you - display advertising? - I already have a firefox add-on that blocks it all. Once more people realise this software is out there...
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February 4, 2009

Navigating newspapers: Part 5 - The 'quality press'

During the course of the last few days I've been publishing a series of posts looking at how 9 leading UK newspaper websites present their navigation to their audience. Yesterday I was looking in-depth at the layouts on the 'red top' and 'middle market' papers. Today I want to look at the online incarnations of the 'quality' press.  The Guardian One of the distinguishing features of navigation from the 'quality press' is the prominence of comment, opinion and columnists in...
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October 20, 2008

Remembering the war at The Telegraph

I've been watching with interest the development of The Telegraph's war memories site at [1] At first glance it seemed to be very similar to the BBC's People's War initiative from a few years back - a site that is now mothballed as a static archive on It might be interesting to look at the user contributions side-by-side and see if, as I suspect, The Telegraph has managed to capture some unique stories with a different demographic perspective...
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October 9, 2008

Will The Telegraph's tie-up with eMusic expose the staff's guilty pleasures?

I noticed a couple of weeks back that The Telegraph has a special promotion, where they have joined forces with eMusic to give away free downloads to readers. What struck me as really interesting is the way that they are selling the idea that you can see and follow the music taste of Telegraph writers and editors, as well as contribute to a Telegraph 'chart'. Since eMusic is a social download platform, member's networks can build into an interesting blend...
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August 27, 2008

Telegraph redesign review - Part 3

Over the last couple of days I've been writing about my impressions of the new Telegraph web design, looking at the way they have used social media links, global navigation, and visual cues for visual content. Today I wanted to examine how the new design deals with their archives, RSS, and user-generated content. Access to the archives Tucked in the big navigation "bucket" of links at the foot of the page is a link labeled 'Archive'. It is an unassuming...
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August 26, 2008

Telegraph redesign review - Part 2

A few weeks ago The Telegraph launched a new-look version for the majority of their website. Yesterday I looked at some of the issues I found with the new navigation system. I liked the simplicity of the top navigation, but was less-than-enthused about a big "bucket" of links at the foot of the page. Today I'll look at the visual cues the design gave to users about some of the paper's quirkier content, and the links to social media sites....
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August 25, 2008

Telegraph redesign review - Part 1

I had a couple of people get in touch and ask if I was going to be doing a review of The Telegraph's recent re-design. In truth, with my trip to Macau, and a scarcity of Internet access over the last few weeks, the Telegraph site had been live for a while before I even got to have a peek at it out of curiosity, let alone to do an in-depth review. It didn't, at the time of writing, look...
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June 1, 2008

There is the BBC's new media overspend...and then there is Google

Yesterday I bookmarked a piece on The Guardian's site which gave Edward Roussel from The Telegraph the chance to put his view on the BBC's massive new media 'over spend'. There are some good contributions from Jemima Kiss and Emily Bell in the comments, and the whole thread is well worth a read. Roussel makes the point that the BBC's new media budget is greater than the digital budget of all UK newspapers put together, and that it threatens to...
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May 14, 2008

Newspaper widget review: Facebook Applications

I recently gave a presentation at the Miami IA Summit about Information Architecture and user-centred design ideas for widgets, and I very often blog about newspaper websites on currybetdotnet, so it seemed like an obvious idea to put the two together, and blog about newspaper widgets. In the previous two posts I've looked at the Yahoo! Widgets and Google Gadget platforms. Today I want to turn my attention to the Internet darling of 2007, Facebook. About Facebook Applications The decision...
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May 13, 2008

Newspaper widget review: Google Gadgets

I recently gave a presentation at the Miami IA Summit about Information Architecture and user-centred design ideas for widgets, and I very often blog about newspaper websites on currybetdotnet, so it seemed like an obvious idea to put the two together, and blog about newspaper widgets. In the previous post, I looked at the Yahoo! Widgets platform, and was surprised to find that only one British newspaper seemed to feature in any widgets - The Independent. Today I'm turning my...
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May 7, 2008

Looking at the 'new and improved' Telegraph news section

Last week The Telegraph launched the latest part of the re-vamp of their site. Ian Douglas posted a blog entry about it, making the point that it wasn't just about the design, but about changes at the back-end as well: "It’s much more efficient and easy to use, and the news team has been very pleased to get rid of the old system that was fiddly and demanded too much messing around with XML tags." Like The Guardian and the...
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May 6, 2008

'Sorry - this page cannot be found': How newspapers handle 404 errors - Part 2

A comment when I started my recent 'Newspaper Site Search Smackdown' series of posts prompted me to go and have a look at which British newspapers use sitemap.xml files. As it turned out, it was only the Daily Mail and The Scotsman which I noticed, although The Telegraph and The Mirror and Metro have them as well. It meant that I got to have a close look at the 404 error pages generated by the others. I thought it might...
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April 9, 2008

Newspaper "Site Search Smackdown": Round 2 - The Telegraph vs The Independent

I'm running a series of smackdowns between British newspaper site search engines, to test how fresh their indexing is. Yesterday, in Round 1, The Daily Mail had the edge over The Sun. The Mail had 9 of their top 10 headlines indexed and findable via search by 9am - The Sun was left in their wake with only half of their top 10 stories in their index. Today it is the turn of The Telegraph and The Independent. The...
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March 31, 2008

Google hijacks traffic from newspaper site search

There has been a controversy over the last couple of weeks about Google's introduction of 'Search in search' boxes. For some large web properties who appear at #1 for their brand name, Google has been adding a search box underneath their listing, allowing users to refine their search to get results for just the one domain. Amazon and Flickr are a couple of examples of where this has been introduced, although Amazon seem to have got the feature squashed. I...
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January 16, 2008

Mark Thompson survives online Telegraph grilling

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson did an online question and answer session with The Telegraph newspaper yesterday. I can't, off the top of my head, think of a more potentially hostile environment for him, except perhaps the bits of the BBC in White City and Bristol that used to make Factual programming. Actually, those BBC staff appeared to be joining in the debate anyway - this proposed question caught my eye: "Why is the BBC clinging onto minority channels such as...
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December 21, 2007

Biblical Christian names still out-number Mohammed for Britain's boys

The tabloids have been spluttering their outrage at the news that Mohammed is now the second most popular boys name in the UK. Well, provided you massage the figures of course, I mean, why let facts get in the way of your editorial line that 'the fuzzy-wuzzies are taking over our country'. To get that result, you have to add up all the variations on Muhammed, whilst steadfastly refusing to aggregate any other names - I noticed both Jake and...
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November 23, 2007

Not qualifying for Euro2008 - as it happened in Greece

I already had one Euro2008 slap in the face when UEFA didn't grant me any tickets to return to Salzburg to watch a couple of games staged in a place where, this time last year, I was living. And then there was the Croatia game. The comedy of errors here in Crete was nowhere near as bad as Scott Carson's competitive debut, but I thought I should share. According to the Athens News, Greek channel ΝΕΤ were showing the...
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November 14, 2007

How accessible are Britain's online newspapers? Part 7 - The Telegraph

Over the last week and a half I've been looking at the accessibility issues surrounding British newspaper websites, and testing some of the most popular against a set of criteria. So far I've looked at the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Guardian, Independent, and The Sun. So in broadly alphabetical order, provided you count the 'Daily' bit but don't count 'The'. Sometimes. Anyway, today it is the turn of The (Daily) Telegraph. Text resize Allowing your users to control...
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November 5, 2007

More details on the Linux user base of the BBC, The Telegraph and The Guardian

A mistake can have unintended consequences, and a nice one after Ashley Higfiled's original claim that the BBC only has 400-600 Linux users is that it has thrown a bit of a spotlight on OS statistics in the UK media landscape. First of all, Ashley has posted on the BBC's new BBC Internet Blog to upsize the estimated Linux user base to between 36,600 and 97,600. Secondly, Neil McIntosh of the Guardian came out with some figures for Linux usage...
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October 17, 2007

Telegraph nails England Rugby World Cup Final colours to their mast(head)

By the time Saturday comes around, I suspect you won't be able to move in England for printed supplements about the England teams appearance in the Rugby World Cup Final in Paris. In the meantime, the war for the nation's patriotic attention is being played out online. Even with the distraction of this afternoon's crunch Euro2008 qualifier against Russia in a different type of football, most of the newspapers online have lots of Rugby World Cup features, and 'Rugby'...
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September 19, 2007

My Telegraph is held up by Texas Hold 'Em spam

With impeccably bad timing, on Saturday morning, just as I was looking for some links and URLs to go with my currybetdotnet piece about my Press Gazette piece about My Sun and My Telegraph, I came across the front page of My Telegraph being completely spammed out by poker ads. Out of 28 posts on display, all but two were spam posts about poker. The person or spambot responsible had even been tagging their spam diligently, so that the My...
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September 15, 2007

My assessment of My Sun and My Telegraph in the Press Gazette

I had another article published in the Press Gazette this week. Last time I was looking at newspaper RSS feeds. This time I was casting my "Expert Eye" (their kind words, not mine) over the personalised news, comment and blogging platforms offered by The Sun and The Telegraph. On the whole I thought that both services were bold moves for the papers concerned. In print, newspapers are used to being able to tightly control and sub-edit the contributions from their...
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August 21, 2007

Thoughts on being 'outed' as ex-BBC staff in comments on The Telegraph

My dabbling with community interactions over on The Telegraph's websites haven't exactly been a smooth ride so far. Previously I've had my comments edited to change their context - although The Telegraph very quickly moved to restore them when I blogged about it. My latest experience was over the weekend when I left a comment about the BBC vs CIA Wikipedia editing propaganda war - as I call it anyway - where I was immediately outed as an ex-member of...
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July 30, 2007

Sense of humour failure as my iPlayer comment is re-written by The Telegraph

Over the last couple of months I've been very impressed with the development of The Telegraph's site, particularly their user engagement and blogging. I've signed up to the My Telegraph service, and was just actually going to set up my My Telegraph space properly today, when all that good work by the paper so far came to a shuddering halt. When I logged into my page I saw a list of my recent comments on The Telegraph site. At the...
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July 27, 2007

A tour of Tour De France news sites - Étape 6: The Telegraph

I've mostly been following the Tour De France this year via the internet, and so during this week I've been reviewing a variety of news sites for the depth, quality and usability of their online converage. So far I've looked at the offical site, the new Eurosport / Yahoo! sport portal, The Guardian, France 24 and BBC Sport. The Telegraph has been promoting their coverage online using Google AdWords to sidetrack people searching for "Tour De France" The race...
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July 20, 2007

The Telegraph puts BBC Executives in an assassin's gun sights

Since doing my sweeping review of British newspaper websites earlier in the year, I've found myself returning more and more to The Telegraph's site. They have a lively line-up of bloggers, and they've been doing a lot to encourage user-generated content from their readers, which I've enjoyed. In fact, I suspect that this may translate into a couple of physical sales for the printed edition next week when I'm in the UK. They've gone to town a bit today in...
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July 6, 2007

A level playing field for the BBC on Google AdWords?

Marcus Warren wrote a piece in his Telegraph blog this week asking if the BBC can really be that cash-strapped if they can afford to place text adverts on Google for their online coverage of Wimbledon. Personally, I've never been particularly in favour of the BBC spending money on search engine marketing. My first job at the BBC was to promote BBC URLs to external search providers, and I remember strongly resisting overtures from both Yahoo! and LookSmart about paying...
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June 26, 2007

The Telegraph's scatter-gun approach to related RSS feeds

Whilst doing the research for my lengthy series about the "Web 2.0" features on British newspaper websites, I came across quite a few quirks on them that didn't fit into the main set of articles, but that I wanted to point out anyway. One of these was on The Telegraph's site, which I noticed when I was putting together my table of the different RSS feed implementations by the eight newspapers I was surveying. Whilst looking at whether sites offered...
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June 5, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: OPML files for The Telegraph and The Mirror blogs by author

Interesource (not Intersource as I kept calling them) have been very pro-active in responding to my comments about the blogs on The Telegraph and The Mirror that they provide. One of the team was quick to point out some innacuracy in my table of newspaper blog features, where I'd missed out, amongst other things, that they offered navigation by tags. He also pointed out that some of the blogs, like Shane Richmond's, did offer blogrolls, and not only that, that...
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June 1, 2007

Who benefits financially from the Madeleine McCann publicity juggernaut?

I noticed towards the end of this week that, alongside the rumours of journalist frolics in Portugal whilst following the Madeleine McCann case, a couple of columnists have broken rank with the default position of their newspaper. Today on The Time's site Stefanie Marsh has been called "a very lonely, sad, selfish person" for her piece "I confess: I have not been agonising about Madeleine". There has been disquiet expressed in the Telegraph, and yesterday it was Amanda Platell...
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May 7, 2007

Today's burning question: "What will the weather be like on the UK's Bank Holiday?"

I've set off today for a 10-day road trip around Crete, to explore the eastern half of the island which I have been calling home for a year, but haven't really explored yet. Thanks to the joy of scheduled publishing and the ./tools/run-periodic-tasks cron job, you shouldn't see any interuption to my blogging on currybetdotnet - although it does mean that the spelling mistakes I only ever seem to pick up after publication will be sitting there live for a...
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April 26, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Telegraph?

I've been looking at the extent to which different newspapers in the UK have adopted so-called "Web 2.0" technologies in their web sites. So far I've covered The Mirror, The Times and The Express. Today I want to look at the online version of The Telegraph. The Telegraph has been quite bullish in recent months over their internet performance, boasting of being "Britain's No.1 quality newspaper website". Unlike the laughable claim of The Daily Express to be the world's best...
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March 22, 2007

Bob Woolmer's wife rules out / doesn't rule out* murder [Delete as applicable]

I've been following the Cricket World Cup as best I can from Austria, mostly via desktop scorecards since, understandably, it isn't a big thing over here. Sadly, as any cricket fan knows, the event has been over-shadowed by the death of Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer. Jamaican police have so far been unable to determine a cause of death, and so the story has seen developments all week, with acres of speculation in the press alongside the tributes and obituries. This...
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September 15, 2004

Can you be right wing, pro-hunt AND pro-violent protest?

I'm looking forward to both The Telegraph and the Daily Mail tomorrow. Violent protests are usually pretty clear cut from their point of view - the domain of left-wing agitators who stand against civilisation. Think the miners. Think the poll tax riots. Think of the sacrilege of a green mohican on Churchill's head. Think that every time violence erupts it is blamed on violent protesters not ill-treatment by the police, even if the police have illegally detained hundreds of innocent...
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January 31, 2004

BBC staff advert in The Daily Telegraph

Today BBC staff placed a full page advert in The Daily Telegraph to assert their belief in the continued independence of the BBC, and to pay tribute to the work of Greg Dyke whilst he was Director-General. The full text of the advert was as follows: The independence of the BBC The following statement is from BBC employees, presenters, reporters and contributors. It was paid for by them personally, not the BBC itself Greg Dyke stood for brave, independent...
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January 30, 2004

BBC staff place advert in The Telegraph

The Times are reporting the collection raised by BBC staff today to place an advert in tomorrow's edition of The Telegraph after what has happened to the corporation this week. According to The Times the text for the advert reads: "Greg Dyke stood for brave, independent BBC journalism that was fearless in its search for the truth. We are resolute that the BBC should not step back from its determination to investigate the facts in pursuit of the truth....
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