Tuesday, February 04, 2014

N.Y. Times CEO apologizes for failed BBC digital project

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson apologized on Monday for a failed $170-million digital project he oversaw when he was running the BBC.

Speaking to the British parliament's Public Accounts Committee, Thompson, who was the BBC's director general before joining the Times in 2012, said he wanted to "apologize to you and to the public for the failure of this project." (The BBC is publicly funded).

The Digital Media Initiative was supposed to be an all encompassing digital production and archiving system for the BBC. By May, the project was axed having generated "little or no useable assets." 

During the hearing Thompson denied misleading parliament in 2011 when he said the project was on track saying that is what he had believed.

In a report last week, Britain's National Audit Office said BBC's executive board did not have "sufficient grip" over the project and that it was not "technically sound." Thompson has also been criticized for his handling of a child sex scandal involving former BBC TV host Jimmy Savile. 


International Institute for ICT Journalism

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