Saturday 15 June 2013

'Today' today

This looks promising.

Following on from our last-but-one post about Today's failure to label Professor Prem Sikka of the Tax Justice Network as a campaigner by merely introducing him as academic, this morning's Today live page provides us with the following infomation:
"Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research UK, a campaigner for tax reform and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander analyse the government's plan for more disclosure on the tax payments of companies and wealthy individuals."
Evan Davis repeated this formulation whilst introducing Mr Murphy at 8.10, and described him as "a campaigner" later in the interview as well. 

Now that's much better, isn't it? Listeners would now be aware in advance that Richard Murphy, founder of the Tax Justice Network, is no unbiased tax expert. 

That said, today's edition will have three segments in total on the issue of tax avoidance, which might almost make you believe that the programme is campaigning on the issue itself!

The prompt for Today's coverage of this story is the lead article in this morning's Guardian

The other subjects being discussed on Today this morning include the obvious foreign affairs ones - President Obama's decision to give military support "moderate" elements in the Syrian opposition and the results of the Iranian presidential election, which appears to have been won by a "moderate and pragmatic conservative" (sounds like my kind of guy!) - plus some interesting science stories, the tale of a fallen British soldier buried for 200 years now being laid to rest, a bereavement counsellor who has received an honour, a piece on affirmative action in the US and a segment on the call from EDF for unit pricing of energy. 

It's often interesting to look at what stories Today isn't covering though. 

Checking out the Sky News website, other big news stories today include a survey of family doctors which finds that half of GPs say they can "no longer guarantee safe care" for their patients and a Taxpayers' Alliance report that claims that 'useless' public sector projects are costing us £120bn - a story The Times is also making much of. Nor is Today reporting the Telegraph's worrying lead story - a study that's found that half of men who develop prostate cancer are being put at unnecessary risk because most NHS hospitals are using outdated and inaccurate techniques. 

So, no stories on Today this morning about evidently important issues of waste and safety in the public sector but lots on tax avoidance by major corporations instead.

Evidence of a left-liberal agenda?

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