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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 15:06 GMT
Sambrook: 'We must rebuild trust'
Richard Sambrook
Richard Sambrook accepts responsibility for his part in errors
BBC News must "rebuild trust" and build on its editorial standards which are "among the best in the world", its director has said.

Richard Sambrook also told staff in an e-mail there must be a "change in the way politics and media relate".

Lord Hutton criticised Mr Sambrook for answering Downing Street complaints without properly examining them.

Meanwhile, BBC staff have collected money to buy a newspaper advert expressing support for Greg Dyke.

I know that the vast majority of BBC journalism is of the highest calibre and that our editorial standards are among the best in the world.
Richard Sambrook
In Friday's e-mail, Mr Sambrook told staff that BBC journalism, which was of the "highest calibre", would "soon be recognised again".

And, he said, a changing the way politics and media relate "did not mean going soft or bending to pressure".

"I believe we must re-state our core editorial values, look hard at issues of accountability and transparency, and how to sustain editorial quality across the full range of our programmes.

"I know that the vast majority of BBC journalism is of the highest calibre and that our editorial standards are among the best in the world," Mr Sambrook added.

But the BBC must consider if the way it currently works "is appropriate for an operation of this importance and size," he said.

Robust reply

Mr Sambrook admitted he "regretted misjudgements" made over the last eight months and accepted responsibility for his part in any errors.

In his report, published on Wednesday, Lord Hutton said Mr Sambrook should have checked correspondent Andrew Gilligan's notes to see if they backed up the reporter's story alleging a dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been "sexed up".

The prime minister's former communications director Alastair Campbell had written to Mr Sambrook demanding the answer to a set of questions about the report.

And Mr Sambrook had replied robustly, defending the BBC and accusing Number 10 of trying to intimidate the corporation before and during the war.

In his evidence to the Hutton Inquiry, Mr Sambrook had said he regretted not having reviewed Mr Gilligan's notes in detail before replying to Mr Campbell.

'Overwhelming response'

Meanwhile, BBC staff have collected money to place an advert in tomorrow's Times newspaper supporting the "fearless" and "determined" work of former director general Greg Dyke and resolving that "the BBC should not step back from its determination to investigate the facts in pursuit of the truth".

Organiser Clare Brigstocke said the response to the advert fund had been "overwhelming".

She said the exact amount raised was impossible to judge at this stage but that the advertisement was "easily affordable".

She told BBC News Online: "The idea didn't come from management, it's completely voluntary and done by the staff."

She said the idea had come from a member of staff during a special meeting held after Mr Dyke's resignation on Thursday.

"The newspaper advert is happening because this is how people feel. It's a signal of how much staff appreciate Greg and the huge changes he's made at the BBC."


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