• Petitioned Newsnight

This petition was delivered to:

Newsnight
Editor, Newsnight
Peter Rippon
Director, BBC2
Janice Hadlow
Presenter, Newsnight
Jeremy Paxman
Presenter, Newsnight
Kirsty Wark
Presenter, Newsnight
Gavin Esler
Presenter, Newsnight
Emily Maitlis
Director, BBC News
Helen Boaden
Head of BBC TV News
Peter Horrocks
Director General
Mark Thompson

.@BBCNewsnight: I deserve an apology

    1. Shanene Thorpe
    2. Petition by

      Shanene Thorpe

      London, United Kingdom

  1.  
  2.   
August 2012

Victory

With over 27,000 people supporting me, I stood up to the BBC for publicly humiliating me and all working mothers on national TV. It was an incredibly hard thing to do and I couldn’t have done it without your support.

Last Thursday night, Newsnight listened to our petition and issued a live on-air apology. Thank you -- this wouldn’t have happened without you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wMU8J5IF0E&feature=youtu.be

Following my petition calling for the BBC to publicly apologise for misrepresenting me during an interview on Newsnight in May, the BBC issued a written apology. This was a huge step in acknowledging what they'd done but it still wasn't as public as my humiliation.

So, armed with your support I took the issue to the BBC editorial complaints board and last Thursday night, Newsnight finally apologised on air.

I was absolutely amazed and almost couldn't believe it! Hearing it acknowledged live on TV was an emotional but incredible feeling. I didn't give up and I made sure they knew I had the support of over 27,000 people behind me.

When I first saw the interview on the programme back in May I was totally humiliated and embarrassed but the support I've received from everyone has been incredible.

This has been a massive victory for me and now that the BBC has fully acknowledged their wrongdoing I hope they'll think twice about doing it to others.

Thank you,

Shanene

The full apology broadcast on BBC Newsnight, Thursday 30th August:

"On the 23rd May during an item on welfare reform we broadcast an interview with Shanene Thorpe that unfairly created the mistaken impression that she was unemployed and wholly dependent on benefits and suggested that she was living off the state as a "lifestyle choice". She has asked us to make clear she has been in work, or work related education, since leaving school. Shortly after the programme we published an apology on our website for the unmerited embarrassment and any distress the item caused her. We are happy to make this broadcast apology as well."

I was approached by the BBC to be interviewed on Newsnight to talk about what it's like being a working mum struggling to pay rent and housing costs. Of course I was happy to do it, being a working mum is something I’m proud of. It hasn't always been plain sailing. But I did not expect to be personally scrutinised, have judgements made about my choices and asked why I chose to have my child - a beautiful, sociable and happy three year old girl. I have done my best for her and wanted to bring her up independently. But the BBC has humiliated me and I want them to apologise for portraying me and my family in this way.

Please sign my petition to ask for an apology from Newsnight. 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. I felt judged and victimised by Newsnight

      Shanene Thorpe
      Petition organiser

      A chance to tell my side of the story, at last. Maybe the BBC will give me the opportunity too?

    2. The complaint is in!

      Shanene Thorpe
      Petition organiser

      So I'm hoping the BBC will respond quickly - they've been expecting it after all

    3. Reached 25,000 signatures
    4. How Newsnight humiliated single mother Shanene Thorpe

      Shanene Thorpe
      Petition organiser

    5. Phonecall from Peter Rippon - but it's not enough

      Shanene Thorpe
      Petition organiser

      I got an unexpected call at work on Tuesday -- from Newsnight Editor Peter Rippon. So he does know I've got a job!

      He congratulated me on the petition, and apologised "if I'd been mis-represented". He also tried to blame my employer, Tower Hamlets Council, for setting the interview up (at Newsnight's request).

      I appreciate the offer, but I don't think it's enough. I still want a public apology and a full explanation as to how this was allowed to happen.

      I'm ready to meet the team behind the show in person -- so I can tell them my side of the story and make sure this doesn't happen to anybody else.

      Come on Mr Rippon, more than 20,000 people want you to take responsibility for your actions.

    6. Reached 20,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Tom Trainer LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      I see now. It is Allegra Stratton. I will bear this in mind in future when her name is mentioned in connection with any "news".

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tom Trainer LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      What is the interviewer's name? She should be ashamed of herself. I will not take any report she is involved in seriously now.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Kirkham SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Dear Mr Kirkham

      We have now concluded our investigation into Shanene Thorpe’s complaint. I’m sorry this took longer than we initially led you to expect, which was because of the absence of key people on holiday, but I hope you’ll be pleased to know that we concluded that the nature and degree of unfairness to her was such that a broadcast correction and apology was appropriate, in addition to the online apology already posted by the Editor of Newsnight. Accordingly, last night’s edition of the programme included the following (with Ms Thorpe’s agreement):

      And now for an apology. On 23 May during an item on welfare reform we broadcast an interview with Shanene Thorpe that unfairly created the mistaken impression that she was unemployed and wholly dependent on benefits, and suggested that she was living off the state as a lifestyle choice. She has asked us to make clear that she has been in work or in work-related education since leaving school. Shortly after the programme, we published an apology on our website for the unmerited embarrassment and any distress the item caused her. We are happy to make this broadcast apology as well.

      Thank you for drawing your concerns to our attention.

      Yours sincerely

      Fraser Steel

      Head of Editorial Complaints

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01mfjmp/Newsnight_30_08_2012/

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rebecca Smithson PRESTON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      I am about to become a single mother and I am disgusted by the BBC's treatment and portrayal of Shanene. It was cowardly and dishonest.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rachael Binns BRADFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      A Middle class, clueless woman with no personality, understanding or manners trying to humiliate and degrade a woman who is clearly 10 times the woman she is. I would like to see how she managed bringing up a child on her own and juggling a job.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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