Quality journalism, namely John Humphrey’s very straightforward questions to the Director General and the Director General’s very straightforward answers, did for the thing. There was no going back after that. Poor quality journalism, namely Newsnight being too quick to pull a trigger was not acceptable in a public broadcast bastion dedicated to attention to detail.
Compare all this to the difficulties the BBC has in reporting objectively on China and its Communist Party Congress. It remains entirely unsurprising that the Chinese will control their elections and their media access with great attention to detail. They understand that even the illustrious BBC will pillory them for secrecy and send correspondents there to praise and inflate dissidents and those who would see China’s non imperialist power descend into catastrophe.