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Presentation Transcript
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BBC PANORAMA

‘Fifa’s Dirty Secrets’


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Panorama Is The:

  • Longest running current affairs show in the world. First Aired in 1953.

  • Flagship factual programme for the BBC occupying BBC1 Prime Time.

  • Historically CONTROVERSIAL.

  • BUT did the latest episode go TOO FAR, undermining Englands World Cup Bid…

  • AND misrepresent the UKs national identity?


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About the Episode

  • Andrew Jennings uncovers evidence of long-standing, deep-rooted corruption within FIFA.

  • Members of the FIFA Executive Committee are shown to have taken money from IFS, the firm responsible for broadcasting rights.

  • Findings from a confidential document showed a total of 175 payments totalling £64m in bribes.

  • There were also allegations of committee members selling tickets to black-market touts in 2006.



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Is Panorama to blame for England’s defeat?

  • OFCOM complaints focused on the CONSEQUENCES of the broadcast, NOT the CONTENT.

  • Panorama’s intentions were only to reveal the truth, not to jepardise England’s bid.

  • BUT…The Vice President of FIFA has threatened to sue the BBC.

  • BBC defended the show stating:

    “it is surely nonsense to suggest that you know a process could be flawed and you don't say anything until after it has happened."

  • We invented the modern game, so we should safeguard its integrity.


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  • Panorama is intended to provoke debate amongst its core audience….Thus…

  • Airing pre vote meant an opportunity to influence FIFA’s decision.

  • BUT… FIFA remained indifferent to any charges against it and to England’s bid.

  • We received one vote.

  • BUT the show received a ratings boost of 200 000. Stunt…?

  • However…

    “in an online poll that asked whether the BBC was right to air the show, 76% said NO”


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The UK’s National Identity in response to Panorama’s allegations

“The media can be seen as providing us with the information which it tells us what it feels like to occupy a particular subject-position.” Woodward, 1997, pg. 14

  • i.e. Panorama must give its audience content it can relate to.

  • Many question the episode “Fifa’s Dirty Secrets” motives and the BBCs disregard for UK national identity.

  • BUT… Panorama used UK identification to appeal to its consumer.

  • Defined by Woodward as…


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“The process of identifying with others, either through lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (1997:14)

  • i.e. The BBC perceived UK citizens would have similarly negative views towards FIFA.

  • Thus… broadcast a very subjective, one sided argument.

  • An editorial line that possibly makes it an untrustworthy source.

  • A view the Panorama Editor condones stating:

    “It has taken many weeks to ensure that the allegations we are making were properly tested and that all those named were given a fair opportunity to respond.”


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  • Panorama gave FIFA a chance to lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (defend themselves, so they had NO excuses for what the programme uncovered.

  • BUT… Woodward argues the BBC shows a lack of understanding concerning

    “conflicting identities that are located within the social, political and economic changes to which they contribute” (1997:18).

  • AND… instead caused a large split in opinion within the UK concerning the issues of the episode.

  • Panorama wants an “active audience”, to create debates amongst audiences and allow viewers their own interpretation of the context.


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Panorama and Audience Theory lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (

  • Adorno and Horkheimer’s “Media Power’

  • “We are still just people consuming TV”

  • i.e. The BBC can choose to broadcast anything they wish and thereby impose their views on consumers.

  • BUT… While Panorama presents very convincing evidence, the backlash from the media and consumers shows this theory is not entirely accurate.


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  • Fiske’s lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (“Audience Power”

  • ‘a singular mass of consumers does not exist’

  • There are “a range of different individuals with their own changing tastes”.

  • i.e. The UK audience is a wide range of identities, and the audience is not simply absorbing this information.

  • BUT has resisted this and many have chosen to express their own personal opinion.


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CONCLUSIONS lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (


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  • Panorama lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (may have put England’s FIFA World Cup Bid in jeopardy by broadcasting so close to the voting day.

  • Allowing FIFA committee members to punish Panorama’s editorial line by not voting for England.

  • BUT the UK should be proud as the programme may have made our national identity seem potentially honourable and courageous to others.

  • Though complaints, the show highlighted an issue that couldn’t and shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Some are calling for a new FIFA, a clean sweep.

  • The world is watching, as indeed is Panorama.


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Thanks for listening! Any Questions ? lack of awareness of difference or separation, or as a result of perceived similarities” (


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