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View Full Version : Liberal Bias in the media- at least the British are honest about it.


Bill Parcells
06-18-2007, 03:16 PM
BBC report finds bias within corporation

By Gary Cleland
Last Updated: 1:09am BST 18/06/2007

The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.

The report claims that coverage of single-issue political causes, such as climate change and poverty, can be biased - and is particularly critical of Live 8 coverage, which it says amounted to endorsement.

It warns that celebrities must not be pandered to and allowed to hijack the BBC schedule.
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After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.

But it says coverage of Live 8, the 2005 anti-poverty concerts organised by rock star campaigners Bob Geldof and Bono and writer Richard Curtis, failed to properly debate the issues raised.

Instead, at a time when the corporation was renegotiating its charter with the government, it allowed itself to effectively become a promotional tool for Live 8, which was strongly supported by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Geldof, Bono and Curtis were attempting to pressure world leaders at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, which was taking place at the same time, to help reduce poverty in developing countries under the banner 'Make Poverty History’.

Mr Blair said the campaign was a “mighty achievement”. The huge Live 8 concerts across the world were its culmination and the BBC cleared its schedules to show them, with coverage on BBC One, Two and Three and Radio One and Two.

Around the same time it also screened a specially-written episode of Curtis’s popular sitcom The Vicar of Dibley that featured a minute long Make Poverty History video and saw characters urged to support it. And it aired another Curtis drama, The Girl in the Café, in which Bill Nighy falls in love with an anti-poverty campaigner - even giving Gordon Brown an advance copy.

The BBC also ran a week long Africa special featuring a series of documentaries by Geldof and a day celebrating the National Health Service, prompting Sky News political editor Adam Boulton to tell a House of Lords select committee it was in danger of peddling government propaganda.

The report concludes BBC staff must be more willing to challenge their own beliefs.

It reads: “There is a tendency to 'group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.”

A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended.

During the seminar a senior BBC reporter criticised the corporation for being anti-American.

The report was jointly commissioned by BBC managers and the board of governors and will be published by the BBC Trust, which has since replaced the governors.

It has been approved by a committee headed by BBC trustee and former ITN editor-in-chief Richard Tait. Other members include BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford, head of BBC News Helen Boaden and creative director Alan Yentob.

Writing in The Observer yesterday, Mr Tait said that “the BBC cannot allow its output to be taken over by campaigning groups” and added: “At the BBC impartiality is and must remain non-negotiable because it is vital to safeguard the BBC’s independence.”

The report offers 12 new principles for the corporation to adopt to safeguard its impartiality.

These include: “Impartiality is no excuse for insipid programming. It allows room for fair-minded, evidence-based judgements by senior journalists and documentary-makers, and for controversial, passionate and polemical arguments by contributors and writers.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “This report is about looking forward and how we are going to face the challenges of impartiality in the modern world.”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/17/nbbc217.xml


Honesty at it's finest, kudos to the Brits! :clap:

Adept Havelock
06-18-2007, 03:36 PM
BBC report finds bias within corporation


Honesty at it's finest, kudos to the Brits! :clap:

Yep, honesty at it's finest..especially this part:

After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.

The exception noted is the coverage of the Live 8 concert event, and a couple of other shows with ties to it.

To paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya..."I do not think that means what you think it means". :p

|Zach|
06-18-2007, 03:44 PM
Is the news media biased toward liberals? Yes. Is the news media biased toward conservatives? Yes. These questions and answers are uninteresting because it is possible to find evidence--anecdotal and otherwise--to "prove" media bias of one stripe or another. Far more interesting and instructive is studying the inherent, or structural, biases of journalism as a professional practice--especially as mediated through television.

|Zach|
06-18-2007, 03:44 PM
Yep, honesty at it's finest..especially this part:

After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.

The exception noted is the coverage of the Live 8 concert event, and a couple of other shows with ties to it.

To paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya..."I do not think that means what you think it means". :p
Sometimes I wonder if Bill even reads some of the stuff he posts.

Bill Parcells
06-18-2007, 04:12 PM
Yep, honesty at it's finest..especially this part:

After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.

The exception noted is the coverage of the Live 8 concert event, and a couple of other shows with ties to it.

To paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya..."I do not think that means what you think it means". :p
The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.

What does this say? :shrug:

Bill Parcells
06-18-2007, 04:13 PM
Sometimes I wonder if Bill even reads some of the stuff he posts.
The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.

What does this say? :shrug:

Adept Havelock
06-18-2007, 04:21 PM
Apparently they've failed to "promote proper debate", but it has not affected the day-to-day coverage of politics, which according to that same report is "fair and impartial".

That's what I'm getting from the report. Sorry it's not saying what I think you want it to say. ROFL

Taking lessons from jAZ or Hamas? :p

'Hamas' Jenkins
06-18-2007, 04:27 PM
Taking lessons from jAZ or Hamas? :p

WTF?

Bill Parcells
06-18-2007, 06:16 PM
Apparently they've failed to "promote proper debate", but it has not affected the day-to-day coverage of politics, which according to that same report is "fair and impartial".

That's what I'm getting from the report. Sorry it's not saying what I think you want it to say. ROFL

Taking lessons from jAZ or Hamas? :p
Ok, how about this? :p

BBC 'must become more impartial'

The BBC needs to take more care to ensure it is impartial, according to a report commissioned by the corporation.

It accused the BBC of breaking its own guidelines by screening an episode of The Vicar of Dibley which promoted the Make Poverty History campaign.

The report also quoted former political editor Andrew Marr, who said the BBC has an "innate liberal bias".

However, it added that the BBC is "generally seen as impartial" and set out new guidelines for avoiding bias.

The corporation says they are needed because of social and technological changes which have led to a spread of opinion beyond the traditional "left-right" political divide.

Among them is the statement that impartiality is "not necessarily to be found on the centre ground".

Other principles warn that impartiality should not lead to "political correctness" or "insipid programmes" and there must be room for controversial and passionate contributors.

The report said a seminar held by the BBC last year saw an element of support for the idea that "some sort of liberal consensus" existed in the organisation.

'Comfort zone'

It notes that news programmes missed several emerging stories on Europe and immigration which it described as "off limits in terms of a liberal-minded comfort zone".

But "the report does not say that the BBC is institutionally biased," deputy director general Mark Byford told BBC News 24.

Drama, comedy, music and children's programmes are also expected to pay attention to impartiality, the document says.

It uses the introduction of the BBC's 3D weather maps in 2005 as an example of how the corporation can be seen as biased towards the south-east of England.

Because of the way the maps were tilted, they appeared to suggest that northern Scotland was on the periphery.

Although the problem was quickly ironed out, the report warned that "the continuing practice of giving temperature forecasts for conurbations rather than rural areas may suggest a presumption that the bulk of the audience lives in large cities, whereas the opposite is in fact the case".

The BBC's coverage of Live 8 and the Make Poverty History campaign was also singled out for criticism.

The London Olympics will be a "serious test," the report says
An episode of BBC One comedy series The Vicar of Dibley, written by Make Poverty History campaigner Richard Curtis, was commissioned without reference to the editorial guidelines, it said.

The sitcom showed Dawn French's character urging parishioners to support the anti-poverty campaign and may have breached the BBC's code, which prevents dramas from endorsing charities.

Olympic warning

The report went on to warn that the London Olympics will provide a similar test of the BBC's impartiality.

"Coverage of international championships has sometimes drawn criticism that the British media are too preoccupied with British competitors," it said.

"That pull will be all the greater when the Olympic flame reaches British soil in what is likely to be the year of the Queen's diamond jubilee".

In compiling the report, the BBC commissioned a survey into its audience's views on impartiality.

Sixty-one per cent of people questioned said broadcasters may think they give a fair and informed view but a lot of the time they do not.

A further 83% agreed that broadcasters should report on all views and opinions, however unpopular or extreme some of them may be.

"BBC audiences believe that impartiality should not lead to political correctness," said Richard Tait, the BBC Trust member in charge of the report.

"The BBC agrees and one of our new principles makes clear that impartiality is no excuse for insipid programme-making."

Mr Byford, who was part of the report's steering group, said the findings were of great importance.

"Safeguarding impartiality is a big and challenging topic and the publication of the report should be the catalyst to a wide conversation and debate across the BBC."

The report was approved by the BBC Trust and BBC Executive Board.

The trust represents licence fee payers and ensures the BBC provides value for money, while the board is responsible for delivering the BBC's services in line with the priorities set by the trust.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6763205.stm