Monday 24 November 2014

'Tweet of the Day', with Hugh Sykes

Hugh Sykes has long been one of the BBC's most opinionated reporters. For those of you (like Sue) who aren't Twitter aficionados and, therefore, only get to hear Hugh's opinions on the radio, thus missing out on all of his Twitter pensées, here's a small selection to show you what you're missing.


  1. Regarding austerity and immigration here are some facts you'll rarely see referenced on the BBC:

    1. UK population has been growing at about 400,000 per annum since 2008 - over 2.5m.

    2. If you factor in the population growth, the UK's economic performance has been dire, i.e. in terms of GPD per person. Here's an excellent article covering the subject in part:

    3. The huge, unprecedented population growth (larger even than during the Victorian period), as the ONS has explained, is nearly all explained by mass immigration - not least because most immigrants are young, ready to start families and, another factor, they often marry people from abroad.

    To use this left wing trope that any one who objects to mass immigration is seeking to persecute or harm immigrants is outrageous in a public sector broadcaster.

    4. Because of population growth our economy is carrying a huge infrastructure burden - having to build schools, houses, roads and rail links in the most expenisve part of the country.

    Dan Read

  2. Ooh, this looks like fun! Can I play? In the order of Sykes' tweets:

    #StrawmanAlert Nobody says they are.
    If the Cameroons were honest, UKIP wouldn't be in the picture. Of course, Sykes is implying that UKIP is wrong and must be defeated.

    Potentially violent!
    Yeah, that's @HughSykes

    Okay, can't argue with the drugs debate one, but he's making policy recommendations. A violation of BBC rules.

    #clutchinghandbag #overreaction #GrowUp

    "We need to address people's concerns about #immigration:" @DavidCameron
    Hugh has taken sides, or he wouldn't even ask the question.

    #BBC #Oikophobia 1
    Me: Why don't you like ordinary people?
    @HughSykes: They may as well be speaking a foreign language

    #BBC #Oikophobia 2
    Me: What do you think they might be saying in their foreign languages?
    @HughSykes: Kill the Muzzies, kill the gays, things like that.

    Bonjour #Clacton! (Clactonne?) Alors, c'est un moment historique, hein mes braves #Europhobes? Mais - #Srslydude? That's all you can come up with?

  3. "For those of you (like Sue) who aren't Twitter aficionados and, therefore, only get to hear Hugh's opinions on the radio, thus missing out on all of his Twitter pensées"

    Surely you've defeated your own point there. By suggesting that his radio reports are neutral, but that his *personal* Twitter feed is the place to find his own opinions, doesn't that make him a good unbiased journalist?

    1. I really didn't suggest that his radio reports are neutral there. The words "Hugh's opinions on the radio" were meant to imply that his reports contain opinions too, just like his tweets.

      If you have the time, please check out the following - some of which directly relate the his personal Twitter feed to his reporting:

      Moreover, please recall that the BBC's own editorial guidelines are quite strict on what BBC journalists can and cannot say on Twitter:

      "You may wish to consider forwarding or "retweeting" a selection of a person's microblog entries/posts or "tweets". This is very unlikely to be a problem when you are "retweeting" a colleague's BBC "tweet" or a BBC headline. But in some cases, you will need to consider the risk that "retweeting" of third party content by the BBC may appear to be an endorsement of the original author's point of view.
      It may not be enough to write on your BBC microblog's biography page that "retweeting" does not signify endorsement, particularly if the views expressed are about politics or a matter of controversial public policy. Instead you should consider adding your own comment to the "tweet" you have selected, making it clear why you are forwarding it and where you are speaking in your own voice and where you are quoting someone else's.""

      From that it looks as if a BBC journalist's personal Twitter feed isn't exempt from the BBC's rules on impartiality - especially, perhaps, if the feed's bio mentions that the reporter in question works for the BBC.


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