Seconds out. Round Three.
The Telegraph's ongoing fight with the BBC continues in their leading article today.
After outlining its own take on that EC report about immigration from the EU into the UK, it states:
Yet when we reported these facts, those sympathetic to the EU Commission’s views fought back. Troublingly, the BBC – which prides itself on impartiality – appeared to take the EU’s side. Last Monday night, the 10 O’Clock News broadcast an analysis of the EU Commission’s report by Mark Easton, the home editor for BBC News. Its bias was, in our view, startling.
It then reviews the case against Mark Easton's report, as made by David Barrett [see previous post], then proceeds to make the crucial point about why BBC bias matters more than, say, Sunday Telegraph or Observer bias:
This evidence of bias is worrying. Newspapers, after all, are privately owned institutions that are free to express whatever political opinion they want – and we are open about our editorial standpoint. By contrast, the BBC is funded by a licence fee of £145.50 levied on the general public and, as a state broadcaster, is supposed to be entirely neutral. According to its editorial guidelines, “News in whatever form must be treated with due impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands of argument.”
It is our judgment that the 10 O’Clock News report by Mark Easton did not meet the standards set out in those guidelines. On the contrary, it was an example of the BBC acting as a mouthpiece of the EU.
It then sets a challenge for Tony Hall:
When Tony Hall was appointed Director-General of the BBC last April in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, he pledged to make the organisation more accountable and to restore the public’s trust. We would like to ask Lord Hall when that agenda will be extended to the news division, where blatant bias is likely to damage the viewer’s confidence in the broadcaster. Addressing tendentious reporting is all the more necessary because the issues under discussion are so important. When it comes to the debates over immigration, our relationship with the EU or welfare reform, the public deserves honesty and clarity. The subjectivity shown by the BBC will not do.