BBC News hits another low, pushing fake anti-RMT propaganda

An RMT picket line and the BBC logo
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BBC News has had to change an article after people pointed out that part of it was blatantly false. The story was about people affected by the National Union of Rail, Transport and Maritime Workers’ (RMT’s) strikes. However, the problem with the BBC piece is that it still left more false claims in the article. Overall, it shows the entrenched pro-government bias of the supposed ‘public service’ broadcaster.

BBC: a dodgy article

On Thursday 8 December, the BBC published an article called:

‘Rail strikes mean I won’t see my son over Christmas’

The original version, which didn’t have comments from anyone supportive of the strikes, said:

Owen will no longer be able to see his son over the festive period due to the Christmas rail worker strikes.

The 34-year-old from Doncaster was planning to travel to see his 12-year-old boy who lives with his mother in Derby on 27 December, but will not make it because of the walkouts.

BBC News continued by saying:

Read on...

Having supported strikes earlier in the year, Owen says he’s now against them due to the festive strikes “ruining” his Christmas.

“I have always been a staunch socialist…but it’s been a year now,” he says. “Enough is enough.”

However, there was a problem with Owen’s story – as people on Twitter pointed out:

The Canary has checked the bus times (unlike the BBC), and there are indeed buses from Doncaster to Derby on 27 December.

So, the BBC tweeted it had made an error, once it had changed the article:

The BBC also added in a story to the edited version from “Jamie”, who was more supportive of the strikes.

Basic errors

However, the article was still wrong – as one Twitter user pointed out, there was another inaccurate story in the updated version:

Again, the Canary checked this, and indeed there’s a normal train service on the night of 15 December. Michael Race, who wrote the story, had originally put out a request on Twitter for people to talk to him:

It seems that Race failed to fact check the claims of people who got in touch with him. This is contrary to the BBC‘s own guidelines on what it calls “user-generated content”. So, as one Twitter user summed up:

absolutely incredible that you would publish a verifiably false bit of information in your story for the bbc. is your disinformation reporter going to do a piece on you?

did you always grow up and get in to journalism wanting to be a lickspittle or did you just see the money?

BBC: punching down as always

Where to begin with all this?

The basic level of fact checking by the BBC is dire. Then, there’s the issue that Race’s article originally only had comment from people who didn’t support the strikes – zero balance from a public service broadcaster. Plus, there’s the fact that the article got past editors in the first place – showing that when it comes to accuracy around workers, the BBC is unconcerned.

However, the larger problem here is that this is typical BBC establishment punching down – pitting citizen against citizen while absolving those in power of responsibility. This is despite BBC chairman Richard Sharp’s claims of a “liberal bias” at the organisation. Funny he’d say that – given that he’s donated over £400,000 to the Tories. So, it seems the BBC agenda of bias towards the government and the powerful continues – even when it is blatantly biased journalism, not fit for GCSE Media Studies.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube and BBC News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. The Murdochracy Broadcasting Corporation can Eff off.

      I wouldn’t piss on most of its staff if they were on fire.

      The ONE person I know who still watches it, is a homesick emigre, and only watches it to wind himself up about how shit it is now.

      It is literally at the level of the Sun.

      If someone said the Sun “Had a liberal bias”, that would say far more about their OWN politics.

      And this is the new chair?

      Sounds like its going to improve then.

      Well, if you’re Fash, anway.

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