Sunday 13 October 2013


Is Janet Daley correct when she writes that "BBC news output is specifically designed to counter what it sees as ignorance and popular prejudices" and that "its coverage of issues in which it believes such prejudices to be rife – immigration, for example – is intended to be instructional and, specifically corrective of what its managers think of, and describe openly in conversation, as the influence of the “Right-wing press”"?

Well, the Right-wing press is covering an important immigration story today - one that is likely to get many people somewhat hot under the collar. Indeed, the Sunday Telegraph is leading with it. Their front page headline reads: 
True scale of European immigration 
The online version is headlined:

New report finds 600,000 unemployed migrants are living in Britain at a cost of £1.5 billion to the NHS, intensifying demands for the Government to renegotiate EU membership.
The (online) Times is also reporting this striking survey from the European Commission, picking up on the Telegraph's lead:

More than 600,000 unemployed migrants from the European Union are living in the UK, according to reports of a European Union survey.
The BBC's biggest TV rival, Sky News, is also reporting the story:

Details of the numbers who have come from around the EU without employment emerge as a poll finds most back an early referendum.
More than 600,000 unemployed migrants from across the European Union are living in the UK, according to a survey.
The 291-page report - commissioned by the Brussels commissioner for employment and social inclusion, Laszlo Andor - found there were 611,779 "non-active" EU migrants in the UK last year compared with 431,687 in 2006 - a 42% increase.
The total number of jobless migrants is greater than the population of Glasgow.
Now, if Janet Daley is correct, the BBC should be trying to counter that story in some way - either by rubbishing it, downplaying it, emphasising a counter-story, or ignoring it. 

Well, so far, the BBC News website is going for the 'ignore it' option. Watching an hour's worth of the News Channel suggests they've taken the same option.

BBC One seems to be preferring the 'downplay it' option. The Andrew Marr Show read out the headline but didn't discuss the story during its press review. Likewise with BBC Breakfast's two paper reviews. And it was much the same with Radio 4's 7.06 run-through of the newspaper front pages. As far as Radio 4's news bulletins go, I've heard two of them and neither mentioned the story. Sunday also ignored it (inevitably). [I've not heard Broadcasting House yet, so that may have given the story extensive coverage - though I doubt it.]

Is this confirmation of what Janet Daley is saying then?

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