Exaro News Archive

Investigations, not witch-hunts: David Hencke on BBC R4 Today

Exaro reporter, David Aaronovitch and John Humphrys discuss allegations of child abuse

By Exaro Team | 9 November 2012

Exaro’s senior reporter, David Hencke, talked on this morning’s Today programme about allegations surrounding a suspected paedophile ring linked to senior political figures.

Hencke, shortlisted last week in the British Journalism Awards, took part on BBC Radio 4’s programme in a discussion about whether media and internet coverage of the allegations of child abuse amounted to a “witch-hunt”.

He joined David Aaronovitch, a columnist on The Times, and Today’s presenter, John Humphrys, for the discussion, which can be heard online on Today’s website.

During the discussion, Hencke revealed that he is currently working on an investigation into similar, historical allegations. He said that police do not appear to have fully investigated the case at the time. He talked about how Exaro, as an investigative website that publishes responsible journalism, would only run a story when the evidence was in place.

Exaro was also working on a story about how a case of mistaken identity had led to Lord (Alistair) McAlpine, former Treasurer of the Conservative party, being wrongly accused on the internet of child abuse in connection with a Welsh care-home.

The case underlines the importance of all journalists – whether working online, for national newspapers, or for the BBC – to check the evidence carefully before running with a story.

Listen to BBC Radio 4 Today, Friday 9 November 2012, “Is there a witch-hunt?” (7 min, 24 sec)

By Exaro News

Exaro News investigates matters of public interest and seeks to uncover the truth.