May I firstly thank all those who have been commenting recently. There have been some riveting exchanges, and I feel Paul Reynolds may be regretting slightly that he came along to make our site even a little livelier! (I hope not regretting too much). Personally I think it’s clear- we all care about the media we have, and that makes our discussions full of interest to people of all kinds.
Anyhow, let me start the ‘BiasedBBC’ aspect of this post by pointing you to the triumphant return- after holidays- of the brilliant Melanie Phillips. Paul Reynolds has been arguing here doggedly that the BBC does not demonstrate any certifiable institutional bias, while acknowledging isolated instances, so it was interesting to read Melanie’s take on BBC radio’s flagship news programme- The Today Programme (I highlight the most interesting phrasing):
‘The rules of the BBC Radio Four Today programme’s game clearly have not changed one whit. Wednesday’s edition demonstrated that, bombs or no, it is still performing its iconic function as the noticeboard of a sick establishment.’
Read on for commentary on the latest C4Newsesque BBC reportage.
Melanie has relentlessly pointed out the biases on this particular programme. They are repeatedly noticed by many who visit this site. And this is theflagship of BBC radio news- the talk-based service that almost unarguably epitomises the BBC’s approach to broadcasting.
Second item is to flag up the American Expatriate’s great exchanges with the aforementioned Mr Reynolds. I followed glued to the screen (yes, a little sad- I know) on our own comments box, but was hesitant to lift the exchange from our comments to the main blog to widen their exposure. Fortunately Scott has been chronicling the exchange on his own site– and we don’t mind visiting, do we? You can find two posts so far- here and here.
A taster to read on this site:
‘Paul Reynolds: You raise a very fair point about how many examples of bad journalism you need to discredit the whole output.I do not think the examples put forward actually come close to reaching a critical mass. Some I agree cannot really be defended. But they are selected from hours and hours of coverage and some go back quite a long way.TAE: While the “stunning” type of bias examples may not exemplify the general standard of BBC reporting, they are no doubt facilitated by this institutional bias. It is obviously possible, since it happened, that the BBC might produce a “woeful piece of work” about the Holocaust without mentioning the Jews. But it is darn near inconceivable that the BBC might ever produce a “woeful piece of work” about, say, the wonderful US prisoner of war facilities without mentioning Abu Ghraib. This is because its institutional sympathy with Palestine (Barbara Plett’s tears?) and hostility to Israel allow the first to sneak by, while its institutional hostility to US power (and GWB) and sympathy with whoever might be challenging the US (and GWB) would never allow the latter to sneak by.’
To which I feel like saying only: indeed.