BBC staff have been urged not to tweet about the corporation's problems by the acting head of news, Fran Unsworth.
She told staff in an internal memo that "it would be helpful if some of our problems were not played out publicly across social media and in the pages of the national press", according to a report in The Guardian.
The corporation's image has taken a battering over the past few weeks, first of all by the revelation that Newsnight dropped an investigation into paedophile Jimmy Savile and instead ran tribute shows to him, then by a defamatory investigation being aired that wrongly accused Lord McAlpine of child sex abuse.
In the wake of this, director-general George Entwistle resigned, following a desperately humiliating interview on the Today programme.
His replacement, the acting director-general, Tim Davie, then walked off a Sky News interview mid-question, causing yet further embarrassment.
Now a furore has erupted over Entwistle's £450,000 pay-off, which has been roundly criticised in the press and by senior politicians such as Nick Clegg.
However, David Dimbleby stepped in to defend the BBC, insisting that it is still the greatest broadcaster in the world.
Unsworth added: "We would rather events had not worked out this way, but with our colleagues on the news group board, we will collectively do our very best to lead the division through these difficult times. We are relying on the support of all of you to achieve this."
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