An unfortunate use of language on a warning notice at the BBC has gone viral, after a Sky News journalist noticed and posted it online.
Election rigging in process
Amid fairly frequent accusations of bias, the alleged BBC notice caused a lot of mirth indeed. The image was shared online by Sky journalist Andrew McFadyen.
Astonishing that the BBC are so blatant about it pic.twitter.com/tJVTMJbndG
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— Andrew McFadyen (@apmcfadyen) June 2, 2017
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Obviously, this is the chance for a good giggle. And people from all walks of life joined in for a bit of fun.
What’s less funny of course, is the very real concerns of bias at the BBC. As the nation’s public broadcaster, it has a unique responsibility to remain non-partisan. And repeated studies show it is failing to perform this crucial role.
In January, the BBC Trust found Chief Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg guilty of misreporting an interview with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Its ruling stated:
The breach of due accuracy on such a highly contentious political issue meant that the output had not achieved due impartiality.
Former Murdoch journalist James Harding (now Head of News at the BBC, and Kuenssberg’s boss) rejected the findings, stating that:
While we respect the Trust and the people who work there, we disagree with this finding
The process is now concluded and BBC News formally notes the Trust’s finding.
Not only did Harding refuse to censure Kuenssberg, he applauded her. Praising her as:
an outstanding journalist and political editor with the utmost integrity and professionalism.
Multiple studies have established the problem of Conservative bias in BBC News. A 2013 content analysis of the BBC by Cardiff University found that:
- The BBC consistently grants more airtime to the Conservatives, whichever party is in power.
- On BBC News at Six, business representatives outnumbered trade union spokespeople by more than 5:1 in 2007 and by 19:1 in 2012.
- BBC coverage of the 2008 financial crisis was dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices. Civil society voices or commentators critical of the finance sector were almost completely absent from coverage.
Enough is enough
The BBC, unlike private broadcasters, has a duty to deliver impartial news coverage to its millions of license fee payers. And it is patently failing to do so.
Just days from a general election, this failure could come at a very high price for the UK electorate.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Read more from The Canary on the 2017 general election.
– Read and support news outlets who hold the powerful to account. Here are some we recommend. Please add more that you like in the comments:
The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia,Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Flickr
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