The national broadcaster is frequently criticised for abandoning impartiality to act as a government mouthpiece. Ofcom considers accusations substantial enough to require investigation of the Corporation’s practices
Broadcast regulator Ofcom has announced that it is to conduct a ‘review’ of the BBC over complaints of bias – effectively an investigation into the BBC’s practices in its radio and TV news output:
Noting concerns about the BBC’s fulfilment of its responsibility to help UK people participate in the democratic process in an informed way, Ofcom observes that:
The BBC has a central role to play in providing trusted, impartial news. Yet our research has shown that audiences consistently rate the impartiality of the BBC’s TV and radio news less highly than many other aspects of BBC’s news output.
For these reasons we consider it is appropriate to undertake a review, to examine in detail the BBC’s delivery of the first Public Purpose.
This finding is entirely in line with the phenomenon the SKWAWKBOX has frequently reported: that key pro-Labour, pro-Corbyn or anti-Tory stories receive a small mention on the BBC’s news website – allowing the BBC to claim it has covered them – but are ignored or misrepresented in the broadcast versions.
The Ofcom statement also notes that complaints about BBC bias form the largest portion of the complaints it receives about the broadcaster:
during our first full year regulating the BBC, the most common type of complaint about its content related to impartiality
The national broadcaster, which has a duty of impartiality written into the charter that forms the basis of its existence, is under investigation for a persistent failure to be impartial.
That failure, more like a wilful abandonment, should surprise no one – but the news is welcome that the regulator agrees those issues are substantial enough to investigate.
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