People noticed something peculiar about the latest installment of the The Andrew Marr Show, the BBC politics show fronted by Andrew Marr each Sunday. There was something strange about the guests.
Viewers were quick to spot that a show which claims to be an impartial representation of UK politics didn’t have a single even moderately left-wing guest. From Conservative minister Liz Truss to Blairite Caroline Flint, you could scarcely place a cigarette paper between the political views of the panellists.
— Robbie Gibb (@RobbieGibb) February 18, 2017
While the right was represented by UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, there was no equivalent for the left. This meant analysis and viewpoints put forward by the right went unchallenged from the absent left.
— Dylan Strain 🌹🇵🇸🖐️ (@DylanStrain) February 19, 2017
The show did leave a seat open for disgraced former New Labour front bencher Peter Mandelson to give his views on Brexit and the future of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) February 19, 2017
#marrshow let's take advise from a man who lied on his mortgage application form and had to resign 3 times due to dodgy dealings.
— Robert Tracey (@RobertTracey062) February 19, 2017
It’s nothing new
But this is nothing new.
A major study by the Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck, University of London last year analysed TV and online news over the “crucial 10 day period” that kicked off last summer’s Labour coup, and found:
clear and consistent bias in favour of critics of Jeremy Corbyn.
As The Canary’s James Wright reported at the time:
The study analysed 465 online news items from 8 outlets, along with 40 broadcasted news bulletins from the BBC and ITV. While our public service broadcaster gave twice the airtime to Corbyn’s critics at prime time, ITV was significantly more balanced.
A report published by the London School of Economics and Political Science also found strong bias against Jeremy Corbyn. The authors found evidence that the UK media was behaving like an “attackdog” against the opposition leader. With an astonishing 56% of Corbyn-related articles giving the Labour leader no voice at all.
Later, a major content analysis by Cardiff University also found BBC coverage is pro-business and conservative-leaning.
There is abundant evidence of the BBC failing to live up to its charter, with its news and politics content skewed firmly to the right. While it is unfortunate in corporate media outlets, it is absolutely unacceptable from a public broadcaster.
Support the work of new media organisations here. Please add more that you like in the comments.
Featured image via YouTube Screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?