Tuesday 17 June 2014

Is the BBC’s coverage of rural England distorted by a metropolitan bias?

Something to look out for...

According to The Times' media editor Alex Spence, a BBC Trust report from former civil servant/BBC insider Heather Hancock is to be published this week which will say that "the BBC’s coverage of rural England is distorted by a metropolitan bias" and that "the public broadcaster’s news and current affairs programmes too often fail to reflect the wide range of interests outside of England’s main urban centres." 

The BBC Trust commissioned it, Alex Spence says, in an attempt "to examine whether the BBC’s reporting on rural matters, such as badger culls and the building of wind farms in the countryside, is objective". 
Among [Heather Hancock's] findings are that the BBC’s reporting on the countryside is disproportionately focused on environmental matters, with not enough coverage of how economic and social issues affect ordinary people outside cities. 
The Countryside Alliance isn't exactly taken aback by any of this. Its head, Barney White-Spunner, is quoted as saying: 
The Countryside Alliance has long been vocal in our concerns. That is not to say that programmes like Countryfile are not valid and interesting, but they are not a true reflection of the realities of rural life and livelihoods.


  1. Countryfile may be interesting but it now has very little to do with agriculture or the rural economy. Most of the programmes recently seem to be about the coast or inland water. Apart from Adam's input a programme that was originally about farming is now nothing to do with farming. And if I have that blonde Bimbo asking to help make a .... when she is a hindrance or ask to taste a food and declare it delicious (one day something will taste awful) I will scream. And if we have whatever he is called give another report on the terrible effects of global warming on the countryside I will give up on the BBC altogether. Both the manufacture of artisan products and global warming are in Cou

  2. Sorry Craig my comment froze, unfinished. I was trying to say that items about making Artisan products, climate change and organic food are mainly for the metropolitan elite and have very little interest for the rural community.

    1. Sorry Deborah, it's so frustrating when that happens.
      That's my impression of 'Countryfile' too. Besides the climate change stuff, yes, the 'organic food' angle seems to be a real BBC obsession. Radio 4's rural affairs coverage is just as bad for that.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.