Friday 6 March 2015

Bias and the leaders' debates

On the big domestic issue of the day (especially according to the media), it's interesting to see how the various media organisations are reporting the shenanigans over the leaders' debates. 

The Telegraph is in fully Torygraph mode, unstintingly taking the Conservative Party's side - specifically against the BBC:

Senior Tories are furious with the BBC for attempting to 'dictate' the terms of the TV debates ahead of the General Election
The BBC is facing accusations of "institutional arrogance" after threatening to press ahead with televised election debates without the Prime Minister.
David Cameron has rejected the idea of a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband and said he will only take part in a single seven-way debate with the other party leaders.
However the corporation and other broadcasters insisted that the debates "will go ahead" and host two election debates with seven party leaders and one head to head
The Guardian, however, is somewhat more balanced - despite their headline:

BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky welcome prime minister’s ‘final offer’ but move could result in PM being ‘empty chaired’ 
Broadcasters and Downing Street were at loggerheads on Friday after the television companies made it clear they would press ahead with plans to hold three separate election debates, whether David Cameron took part or not.
The networks said they would go ahead with plans for three debates during the election campaign - two between seven party leaders, and one a proposed head-to-head between the prime minister and Ed Miliband.
Downing Street described the announcement as “disappointing”, and said it was willing to discuss the logistics of Cameron’s proposal to take part in one, seven-way debate before the campaign begins.
The BBC has a very similar headline to that of the Guardian but is far more biased. The BBC takes its own side, and even quotes Ed Miliband's criticisms of the PM before (later on) quoting the PM himself:
TV election debates will go ahead, say broadcasters
Broadcasters have said plans for three TV general election debates in April will go ahead, despite David Cameron saying he will take part in only one.
It means Mr Cameron - who has rejected a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband - could be "empty chaired".
Mr Miliband said it was "judgement day" for the prime minister, who was "a weak leader running from his record".
Sky News, which also has a dog in this fight, is, however, noticeably more neutral than the BBC, leading with the PM's point of view but carefull balancing it with the broadcasters' standpoint:

The UK's major broadcasters plan to host three TV debates before the election but Downing Street has insisted the Prime Minister is only willing to take part in one 
Downing Street has insisted the Prime Minister is only willing to take part in one televised leaders' debate before the General Election after four major broadcasters repeated they were planning to stage three.
Sky News, Channel 4, the BBC and ITV said they were sticking to their plan of hosting one head-to-head contest between David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband and two pitting seven party leaders against each other during the election campaign.
They made it clear they were ready to go ahead with the debates even if Mr Cameron decides not to take part - raising the possibility that the PM could be "empty-chaired".
All credit then to the Guardian and Sky News for trying to report the story fairly. No credit whatsoever, however, to the toadying Telegraph and the arrogantly biased BBC. 

1 comment:

  1. Not sure I understand why you are equating what ever bias the non publicly funded Telegraph has with those of the totally publicly funded BBC ? one holds near total power over TV and radio and one is a failing rag stuck behind a pay wall


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