Sky News presenter Adam Boulton has warned that the row over a violation of coronavirus restrictions by colleague Kay Burley has raised concerns about “the credibility of our journalism.”
As the broadcaster’s executives weighed their decision on the sanctions deserved by the actions of Burley and three colleagues who attended his 60th birthday party last weekend, Boulton retweeted several articles on the story on Wednesday, including the one who reads: “Look at the state of Sky News. The morons have spent all summer preaching to us and now watch them!
Speaking to The Guardian, Boulton noted that his retweets did not necessarily constitute endorsements. But he continued, “Having said that, I do retweet things because I think they are of public interest, and my feed has certainly reflected a lot of people who are very concerned about the credibility of Sky News, and I think that. it is important. question: the credibility of our journalism.
The intervention of the station’s chief editor and former political editor is the first significant comment on the plight of a senior Sky News broadcaster, where executives are considering how to handle the fallout from the Burley celebrations since Monday.
Boulton said: “In my opinion, Sky worked really hard throughout the Covid crisis and took a very clear line on public safety, and obviously something like that perhaps underlines that. [the importance of] this. And he noted that he thought the issue was “of great concern” to colleagues at the station.
His concerns about credibility will be seen as a reference to his role in holding public figures to account for their conduct during the crisis. Burley herself has been a harsh interrogator of politicians who have been seen as excuses for the lockdown violations this year.
In a show of hands on Wednesday also covering a range of more common issues, Sky News director John Ryley read the statement the company issued on Monday expressing “disappointment” and noting that a review was underway. Classes.
Burley and his colleagues Beth Rigby, Inzamam Rashid and Sam Washington have all been kicked out during talks over which sanctions will be imposed. On Tuesday, Burley was removed from consideration for a prestigious television award, while two of the group signed nondisclosure agreements as Sky sought to limit the damage caused by the line.
With photographs of the group in Soho emerging on Wednesday, several more junior staff said there was a mood of impatience for clarity on what will happen next.
“The situation is just awful,” said one producer. “The longer it lasts, the more it gets worse and the harder it is to see this end without serious punishment.”
Boulton noted that he viewed Burley as a “remarkable” reporter who deserved her success at the station. And he added: “Whatever happens next, it’s not my decision and obviously it’s not for me to criticize my colleagues. “
Nonetheless, his comments will be viewed with concern by executives who hope to keep staff concerns under wraps until they come to a decision, which is expected to be made this week.
There was no mention of the situation on the air. Burley herself deleted a tweet saying she was going on vacation Friday to ‘sit with lions’, adding: ‘They kill for food, not sport’ – a possible reference to media coverage of the situation.
The group celebrating Burley’s birthday began their night out on Saturday at the Century Club in Soho, London, seated at tables of six and four before heading to a nearby restaurant, Folie. A group of four then returned to Burley’s home to continue the celebrations.
Burley apologized for the violation in a tweet in which she claimed she broke level 2 rules because she “desperately needed the toilet” while waiting for a cab to come home. But the claim that a group visited her is not considered disputed.
In May, she conducted a widely shared interview with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove about the Dominic Cummings affair, repeatedly asking him to clarify what the government would advise a member of the public “struggling with. Covid-19 and you think you have a vision problem, ”referring to Cummings’ explanation of his trip to Barnard Castle.