The BBC has been forced to apologise 'unreservedly' today after an investigation found it failed to support a journalist claiming he was being harassed at work, who then later killed himself. BBC Coventry and Warwickshire reporter Russell Joslin, 50, suffocated himself last October despite being on suicide watch at a psychiatric hospital. His family claimed he was driven to his death by the Corporation as they failed to take seriously allegations that he was being bullied by a female colleague...Now, one might erroneously point to the fact that nothing was done in response to Mr. Joslin's complaints, but that was because Mr. Joslin was obviously a psychologically frail individual who was entirely incapable of standing on his rights as an employee and was totally unsuitable for the position in which he found himself as an inadvertant black knight. The significant fact was that Mr. Joslin was not retaliated against by anyone but his harasser, and that the organization was forced to retreat from its do-nothing posture due to the intrinsic appearance of unfairness of enforcing the rules when women are victims and not enforcing them when men are.
BBC West Midlands insiders had claimed the conclusions of a previous internal BBC inquiry last year, headed by an independent person, into 'bullying' complaints were never made public, and little was done.
A long BBC statement in response to the report today states: 'The BBC extends our deepest sympathies to Russell's family, friends and colleagues.
'Russell was a respected and much loved member of the team at Radio Coventry and Warwickshire and he is greatly missed. We would also like to thank the Joslin family for their participation in this investigation at a very difficult time.
'The BBC acknowledges that aspects of the handling of Russell Joslin's case were not good enough. We have apologised unreservedly to the Joslin family.
'It is clear from the report that a number of factors, including workplace culture, made it more difficult for Russell to raise concerns.
'Disappointingly, the report also refers to behaviour which falls below the high standards we expect of all those who work for the BBC.
'We would like to take this opportunity to re-iterate that the BBC will not tolerate any form of bullying and/or harassment and is committed to providing a workplace in which the dignity of individuals is respected.
'Employees raising a bullying and harassment grievance should be able to do so without fear of victimisation.
This shows that going to the media is a valid tactic for a black knight; whereas HR will be inclined to sweep bad female behavior under the table, the marketing department and the executives know they can't afford to be caught doing it in public.