Wednesday 3 July 2013

Was the BBC biased? Yes, says an official BBC report

The BBC's official review into bias has been published

It was carried out by former ITV executive Stuart Prebble and found that the BBC had been out of step with the public on the issue of immigration and Britain's membership of the European Union. The corporation had a fear of causing offence over immigration and had, what former BBC news boss Helen ("Impartiality is in our genes") Boaden described as "a deep liberal bias" over the issue when she came in to the job in 2004. So that's that - and straight from the horse's mouth!
Helen Boaden, Director, Radio and until recently Director, BBC News, accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a “deep liberal bias” in the way that the BBC approached the topic, and specifically that press releases coming from Migration Watch were not always taken as seriously as they might have been. 
With reference to the title of the previous post, the review did find that the BBC engaged in 'groupthink':
"A large group of people working together are in danger of becoming more homogenous in their thinking, not less, and so less able to see when the output reflects a narrow outlook."
The report finds, however, that things have got better in recent years - and, yes, all in all it seems to be painting a generally pretty rosy picture of BBC impartiality. (How unlike Ed West's intensively-researched study). 

It will take a little time to read and inwardly digest.

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