Sunday 11 August 2013

They need a mirror

Talking of the BBC's Australian election coverage, a search of the BBC News website brings up the first tranche of articles. 

The coverage began with two articles on 4 August, when Kevin Rudd called the election: 'Australian PM Kevin Rudd calls election for 7 September' and 'Australian election call: Voters react'.

The following day saw four articles - 'Australia election campaign kicks off' and a video report, plus two profiles - one of Tony Abbott and one of Kevin Rudd.

That's as you would expect. Then the BBC's biases begin to creep in.

The next article came on 8 August and was a Rupert Murdoch piece: 'Murdoch row amid Australia election campaign'. The BBC's Rupophobia probably made that inevitable.

There's no doubt whatsoever though about the inevitability of the next sequence of articles. 

This began on 9 August with 'Stephanie Banister: Australian Islam gaffe goes viral' - a piece by Jon Donnison. 'Gaffes' by right-wing politicians are standard fare when it comes to the BBC's foreign election coverage - especially when the candidate is also anti-Islam and anti-immigration. The BBC seems to love such stories.  Another article came the following day, 'Islam gaffe candidate Banister quits Australia election', with a separate video report on the same story.

Today has witnessed the first televised debate between Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott. The BBC has two articles on that so far, plus a video report. 

At the very bottom of one of those new articles, 'Australian election rivals Rudd and Abbott hold first debate', we hear of two Labor candidates who (like Stephanie Banister) have been forced to resign - one for abusing a disabled councillor a decade ago, the other for insulting Mr Abbott as a racist and bigot. 

So, a female candidate from the now-insignificant minor party One Nation gets two full-length articles devoted to her but two prominent male candidates from the major Labor Party only get a brief mention at the end of one article - even though Jon Donnison could have made a comparable fuss about misogyny (especially in the wake of their Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy coverage) given that the Labor guy who abused the disabled councillor used highly sexist language ("slut"). (Not that you'd know that from the BBC article.) Isn't that rather sexist behaviour from the BBC too?

More of the same should probably be expected over the next month. 

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