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A lawyer brilliantly exposes BBC Breakfast’s coverage of poverty

Peter Stefanovic commenting on BBC Breakfast's reporting on poverty

Lawyer and campaigner Peter Stefanovic has slammed BBC One‘s Breakfast News over its coverage of a ground-breaking report on poverty:

The Social Metrics Commission launched a report on poverty in the UK on 17 September. It makes for disturbing reading. The Guardian reported:

More than 14 million people, including 4.5 million children, are living below the breadline, with more than half trapped in poverty for years, according to a new measure aimed at providing the most sophisticated analysis yet of material disadvantage in the UK.

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The Independent called it “a major report proposing a new measure of financial hardship”.

But Stefanovic slammed BBC One Breakfast for offering only “17 seconds” of coverage of the report.

14.2 million living in poverty

The report showed the shocking number of people now living in poverty:

The analysis is based on “new measures” of poverty that include “spending power”, “liquid assets” and disability in the family home.

The report says:

Over half of those in poverty (58.2%) also live in persistent poverty. This means that more than one in ten (7.7 million) of the total UK population are in poverty now and have been in poverty for at least two of the previous three years.

Key statistics from Social Metrics Commission poverty report

The BBC website did cover the report, and BBC One News at Six produced a longer story on the subject:

Stefanovic told The Canary that was a “fair report” but:

still no excuse for what happened in the morning and nothing on the ten o’clock news when it really should have been covered.

According to the BBC:

Half of Breakfast viewers don’t get their news from any other BBC TV source

‘Keeping the poor invisible’

Some accused the BBC of keeping the poor “invisible”:

For some, the explanation is ideology:

Others focused on class:

Whatever the explanation, the BBC is clearly not the outlet to depend on when it comes to reporting on poverty.

Get Involved!

– Read the summary or full report by the Social Metrics Commission.

– Learn about austerity from the book by The Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

Write to your MP and tell them to raise the findings of the report in parliament, and tell them to bring an end to austerity policies.

Support independent news at The Canary.

Featured image via Peter Stefanovic – Twitter

In-story image via Social Metrics Commission website

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