Saturday, 15 February 2014

The biases of Professor Justin Lewis



If you want to get a handle on where the aforementioned Professor Justin Lewis of Cardiff University is coming from, here's a little light reading for your Saturday afternoon.

If you felt that the BBC was biased against the Iraq War, then think again. Prof. Lewis's research (2003) found that the BBC was pro-war - as you can see from his Guardian article, Biased broadcasting corporation: A survey of the main broadcasters' coverage of the invasion of Iraq shows the claim that the BBC was anti-war is the opposite of the truth

If you felt in 2004 (just a year before the 7/7 bombings) that the media was exaggerating rather than downplaying the threat from Islamic terrorism, then Prof. Lewis's definitely the man for you, as you can read from his Guardian article, At the service of politicians: Media coverage of terrorism has ballooned since 9/11, despite the fact that the number of incidents and victims is the lowest for years.

If you are completely unconcerned by the fact that the BBC dominates TV news viewing and reaches 86% of people who either read or watch news content, or that the BBC's news website is said to pose a serious threat to the survival of British local newspapers, then Prof. Lewis will willingly guide you towards the real villain of the piece: Old Rupe - as you can see from his 2010 Open Democracy article, A monster threatens UK broadcasting? It's Sky, not the BBC.

Plus, if you feel that Muslims get an undeserved bad press from the UK media, then Prof. Lewis has the research for you: Images of Islam in the UK: The Representation of British Muslims in the 
National Print News Media 2000-2008[Note, he doesn't research the BBC's treatment of this matter].

And if you think that consumer capitalism is a cul de sac that's "enormously damaging to our environment, with potentially disastrous consequences" and that the media "keeps us on the treadmill of consumption"  and "limits our vision of what constitutes progress", and that we must  "change the way we organise media and communications" to get ourselves beyond consumer capitalism, then Prof. Lewis is very much the lecturer for you, as you can see from this YouTube talk.

Yes, Prof. Lewis fits in nicely with his fellow media researchers at Cardiff University. There's undoubtedly an overwhelming left-wing bias there.

Update: It's Justin Lewis day today, clearly, in the BBC bias blogosphere. Alan at Biased BBC is on his case too. He too shares my sense of a massive disconnect between the 'findings' of Prof. Lewis's research and reality as I see it - and smells an agenda (actually a gigantic pong).

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