Spending Cuts In Word Clouds

A fascinating contribution emailed in by All Seeing Eye reader Nick Heath which deserves crossposting here at Biased-BBC. The bias in the BBC is often by perception and not often possible to quantify – but here it is.

He has done a word cloud of coverage of the Comprehensive Spending Review from the BBC News website, Sky News website and CNN…and also one of the Hansard entry for Osborne’s speech. See if, without using the names of the graphics, you could have guessed which one came from the BBC?

So, no trouble working it out at all then, was there? In the order of BBC News website, Sky News, CNN and Hansard. The particular prominence of the word Cuts in one of them gave it away.
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25 Responses to Spending Cuts In Word Clouds

  1. Richard says:

    A disgrace.  No surprise, of course, but quite interesting to see how clear the bias is, in a way that doesn’t depend on personal perception.


  2. Span Ows says:

    Stunningly clear and, as Richard says, no surprise.

    Impartial my arse.


  3. Span Ows says:

    By the way, is the colour coding etc random? This would be better is all 4 were the same colour (as 1st and 4th are)


  4. NotaSheep says:

    Fascinating, can this analysis be extended to other BBC coverage? Any hints on what software to use…


    • David Jones says:

      I have played with this one in the past – http://www.tagxedo.com/

      You can make it into a T shirt!


      • David Jones says:

        Here is a cloud on the bBC Science and Environment website. Note the decreasing importance of climate change. Biodiversity is making an appearance (bottom left). It’ll be interesting to see how that develops.


  5. Stuart says:

    What gave it away for me personally was the rather large ‘Osborne’ on the BBC graphic. A good opportunity to associate the issues around the corner to one man and to generally Tory bash. Why do I not see Brown or Blair in this graphic for having the state spendorama in the first place?

    Incidentally I note that the second one from Sky has ‘BBC’ in it!



    Fuck me! A Word Cloud?

    What next?  A BBC Bias daisy chain.

    Seriously, this site has become a lampoon for impotent armchair warriors everywhere.


    • London Calling says:

      Typed from an armchair too, I assume: pot, kettle. But how did you know about the impotence? Only my doctor and wife know!

      Actually it was the opening “Fuck me” gave you away. Now there’s an offer easy to decline (impotency notwithstanding).


    • David Jones says:

      The word cloud is an analysis tool and it proves a point. Out of the four analyses it was easy to pick out the BBC. Why do you think this might be?


    • Span Ows says:

      A daisy chain, now there’s an idea…you could sell it on Hampstead Heath, they adore that sort of thing.


    • hippiepooter says:

      @ JPF

      No denial of the clear bias it shows then?

      I wouldn’t try getting a rise out of us, we’re impotent!


    • David Preiser (USA) says:



    • Grant says:

      Nice to have you here. What methods would you recommend to analyse BBC bias ?


    • Manfred VR says:

      As a matter of fact, other bloggers, such as Guido and Ian Dale take notice of this site. When you are up against a giant monolith like the BBC, one person cannot make a difference. A group has a better chance of being noticed.
      Next time you Troll here, you might garner a bit more notice/respect if you refrained from gratuitous use of expletives. Expletives only work if a valid point is being made, ideally with a dose of humour.
      Now FUCK OFF!


  7. Phil says:

    Sky and CNN exist in the real world of earning your own living. The BBC is in the public sector, and public sector workers are notorious for squealing very loudly about cuts. They claim this is because they are so caring and concerned for the services they are paid to provide, but we all know it is because they want to keep their good wages, superb pensions, generous working conditions and large sick days allowance. 


  8. Charlie says:

    email sent to me, amusing.

    If a Rightie doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
    If a Leftie doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
    If a Rightie is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
    If a Leftie is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
    If a Rightie is gay, he quietly leads his life.
    If a Leftie is gay, he demands legislated respect.
    If a Rightie is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
    A Leftie wonders who is going to take care of him.
    If a Rightie doesn’t like what a media bod says, he changes channels.
    Lefties demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
    If a Rightie is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
    A Leftie non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
    If a Rightie decides he needs sickness care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
    A Leftie demands that the rest of us pay for his.
    If a Rightie reads this, he will pass it on so his friends can have a good laugh.
    A Leftie will delete it because he’s “offended”.


  9. George R says:

    For BBC-NUJ: public spending ‘cuts’.

    “Spending review: The ‘cuts’ that mean public spending soars”



  10. Limbal Smethwick says:

    Don’t forget that the FO regards overseas aid as an investment.  It’s a way of opening markets and garnering influence with third world countries.  It’s not just about feeding the poor.

    Whether it is worth spending £3000M extra per year is certainly up for question.  I doubt giving aid to India, for example, is worthwhile, especially when you experience, as I have, the lack of knowledge of this aid that many educated Indians have.  If the middle classes in India are unaware of British aid (said to have repaid the wealth taken from India during the Empire many times over) then it’s probably not worth it.  India can, after all, afford to look after it’s own poor – it just chooses not to.


    • All Seeing Eye says:

      “Investment” is the classic way to justify unpopular expenditure.

      I recently, for example, ‘invested’ in a motorbike. When my wife starts talking to me again, I expect to be investing in some expensive dinners out.

      Investment – dinners aren’t just about feeding people. There are motorbikes involved too.


  11. Billy Blofeld says:

    That is a fantastic bit of analysis.


    Of course I picked out the BBC with ease immediately…………