BBC Bias - a case study

#1
Summary

The BBC has often been criticised for a perceived bias against those on the centre-right
of politics. But to what degree is this justified? New research and analysis suggests that
while there may be no intentional institutional hostility to those on the centre right,
there is plenty of evidence of bias. That is the conclusion of Kathy Gyngell and David
Keighley in BBC Bias? Two brief case studies, published Friday, 29 April 2005 by the
Centre for Policy Studies.
The authors – whose earlier work for the CPS was in part responsible for the setting up
of the Wilson Committee – present two brief case studies. Both analyse the coverage of
the Today programme, the BBC’s highly regarded and agenda-setting morning radio
news programme. The first case study looks at the coverage of the 2004 Labour and
Conservative Party Conferences. It finds that:
􀂃 while the airtime given to the Labour and Conservative Conferences was much the
same, Labour Cabinet spokesmen were given 50% more airtime than their
Conservative counterparts (50 minutes compared to 33 minutes);
􀂃 Conservative spokesmen were subjected to disparaging or ambiguous introductions.
Labour spokesmen were not;
􀂃 Conservative spokesmen were subject to tougher scrutiny and questioning, with
more interruptions in their shorter interviews, than Government spokesmen. Tony
Blair was allowed to speak uninterrupted for 375 words, Gordon Brown for 342
words and John Prescott for 286 words. In contrast, Michael Howard’s longest
interrupted passage was 211 words, David Davis’ 153 words, and Oliver Letwin’s
112 words.
The second case study looks at the period from 31 March 2005 (when Parliament was
dissolved) to 15 April 2005 (the end of the first week of election campaigning). This
reveals that:
􀂃 while the Labour Party’s economic record and policy were not subject to critical
scrutiny, the Conservative Party proposals were. The difference in approach to
interviews with the Chancellor Gordon Brown and his Shadow counterpart Oliver
Letwin was striking. Gordon Brown’s main interview lasted 11 minutes 15 seconds
(during which the interviewer spoke for 30% of the time), while the interview with
Oliver Letwin on the same day lasted 5 minutes 18 seconds (during which the
interviewer spoke for 40% of the time);
􀂃 again, Conservative spokesmen were subjected to disparaging or ambiguous
introductions. Labour spokesmen were not;
􀂃 the airtime given to Labour to discuss the management of the economy was over
twice that given to the Conservatives (37 minutes 49 seconds compared to 16
minutes 30 seconds).
The authors echo Lord Wilson’s conclusion from his report on the BBC: that urgent
action is required to put this right.
Read the whole thing
 
#2
I listed to 'Today' this afternoon as I was driving down the M1. Two articles of note. Firstly there was a report from a prosthetic limb unit in Baghdad from Caroline Hawley which apparently recieved 10-15 new patients every day. However, the only people the Beeb found to interview, despite all the insurgent bombings, were two people who were wounded in US airstrikes some two years ago. Strangely, the Beeb couldn't find anyone who'd been wounded in an insurgent bomb attack to speak to them (even so, one of the interviewees went off script and said he was glad Saddam was gone). Secondly, they interviewed THAT Italian journo, without once mentioning that she worked for an avowedly anti-US, communist newspaper, an issue I would have thought went to her credibility. Nor did they ask her how it was the insurgents freed her, a fairly important question I would have thought. Still,used to it by now...
 
#3
You've only just noticed that the beeb is bisased?

Us Airgunners have been complaing about the lynching we've been getting from the BBC for years.

That Said it's still better quality news than ITN, C5 or Sky.. (Granted, thats not difficult)
 
#4
ok tony took us to war but any othergovernment would have done exactly the same - our country would never side politically against the US of A.
 
#5
Tony Blair was allowed to speak uninterrupted for 375 words, Gordon Brown for 342 words and John Prescott for 286 words. In contrast, Michael Howard’s longest interrupted passage was 211 words, David Davis’ 153 words, and Oliver Letwin’s 112 words.
And the common thread amongst them all :?:

They all spoke absolute crap of the highest order!!! :D :D
 
#6
Just confirmed what we all suspected.

There was a guy on radioscotland this morning that said exactly the same thing. He quoted a number of fairly important issues that ITN saw fit to cover and yet the bbc chose to ignore. Obviously the presenter was a bit thrownback from this, but did say that it wasnt his place to defend the bbc.
 
#8
I dont think the BBC is that bad. After all the Cons are the opposition and the figures given to support the fact that Cons get less time than Lab on the air reflects the fact that they are in Opposition along with a whole load of opposition parties (lib Dems, Nationalists etc) who are also given time.

Lets not forget only 2 people seem to have lost their jobs over going to war with Iraq- Birt the Governor of the BBC and Andrew Gilliagn a BBC correspondent, both from an organisation which has minutely sought to attack Labour over the war's stance.

The Tories always moaned about BBC bias when in power, and now what.. so do the Labour party. It aint new.
 

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