Sunday 20 July 2014

Rigged BBC audiences?

Another group who have a habit of gathering outside BBC buildings to noisily protest against what they see as BBC bias are Scottish nationalists. They have held many a demonstration outside the BBC's headquarters in Scotland at Pacific Quay, Glasgow over the past year.

Another protest will probably be on the way then if today's Sunday Times is anything to go by:
Better Together ‘tipped off’ on BBC debates
SCOTTISH nationalists have voiced fresh concerns about the BBC’s approach to the independence referendum, suggesting a production company organising debates for the corporation gave advance notice to the No campaign.
Emails seen by The Sunday Times show a senior member of staff at Mentorn Media, which also produces Question Time, alerted a Better Together regional campaign organiser 10 days ago of forthcoming televised debates.
A note from its producer, Sheena Lahive, says this would give the organiser “a head start in spreading the word” to get supporters to apply to join the audiences in Stirling, Inverness, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
A Yes Scotland source said the nationalist campaign appeared to have received no comparable message.
If this is so, it would surely contravene the BBC’s guidelines for covering the referendum state, which state that, “Care must be taken over the course of the campaign to ensure that any one individual or perspective — or any one strand of argument — is not unduly favoured at the expense of other parties or perspectives.”

And, of course, it would give credence to the belief that audiences for programmes like Question Time are rigged by the BBC.

The BBC, naturally, rejects the charge completely:
A BBC Scotland spokesman said: “The BBC is committed to ensuring balance in all aspects of the Referendum Debate programmes, including an audience with equal numbers of Yes and No voters. We have been meticulous and successful in this regard in the shows so far.
“In order to ensure we can achieve this, we have occasionally contacted groups on both sides of the argument to ask if their supporters would like to apply to take part.
“Every applicant is vetted and selected using the same process, after filling in an online questionnaire and speaking to our audience producer.
“We will continue to produce our audiences in the same way for the remaining debates, in order to ensure both sides of the argument are properly represented.”
So did Mentorn Media also contact organisers at Yes Scotland? That's the question, I suppose. 

1 comment:

  1. The BBC is positively bios, not a little bit, but blatantly bios - Radio 4 reported in their news bulletin the cost of the the Scottish independence start up - the BBC radio 4 news reported the figures to be twelve times the actual cost which their expert had told them - the professor was on directly after that news on Radio 4 angry and frustrated that he had been mis-quoted.
    At six o'clock that same evening the main news from BBC on TV also quoted the rediculous 12 times figure making no apology for their error or reporting the facts that one hour previously the author of their report was blazing about the report being deliberately falsified.
    I complained in writing to the BBC suggesting a retraction or correcting it, but received no response.
    Considering the BBC national news goes out to millions of listeners - this report may well be the difference between independence and no independence, and all balanced on blatant lies.


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