Saturday 25 July 2015

Yet another post about 'Dateline'

Yasmin A-B, looking her usual cheery self

On a related matter, concerning today's Dateline London, this week's Brit on the panel was (former Newsnight presenter) Adam Raphael. Adam leans leftwards somewhat, politically-speaking (and seemed to out himself as being a Labour supporter today). 

On my previous (solo) blog (2009-10), I used to chronicle all the Brits on the Dateline panel, proving (if I say so myself) a very strong left-wing bias in the guest selection back then.

Is that as true these days?

Well, as I said in the last post, the UK portion of the guest list is the least (left-liberal) biased part of the programme these days, and I've noted before that things improved after 2010 (possibly, maybe, perhaps as a result of all my detailed lists and all my moaning about it). 

But is Dateline keeping up with that improvement, or could it be slipping back again? Well, there's only one way to find out.

Here are the recent Brits, moving back in time from today chronologically (since the general election). To help to try and answer the question, I'll revert to the practice of my old blog (just this once) and colour-coordinate their names (blue=right-leaning, red=left-leaning, in the European manner).

25/7 Adam Raphael
18/7 David Aaronovitch
11/7 Alex Deane
4/7 Owen Jones
27/6 Yasmin Alibhai Brown
20/6 Polly Toynbee
13/6 David Aaronovitch
6/6 Janet Daley
30/5 Ian Birrell
23/5 Yasmin Alibhai Brown
16/5 Steve Richards
9/5 Janet DaleyOwen Jones

I make that a 9:4 ratio of left-wingers to right-wingers, which still looks biased....but not as biased as Dateline used to be - for example, this delightful string of guests from 2009-10:

14/11 Adam Raphael
21/11 Yasmin Alibhai Brown
28/11 Isabel Hilton
5/12 (Washington edition)
12/12 Janet Daley
19/12 David Aaronovitch
26/12 Polly Toynbee
2/1 Peter Oborne
9/1 Michael White
16/1 Isabel Hilton
23/1 Yasmin Alibhai Brown
30/1 David Aaronovitch
6/2 Polly Toynbee

That is a 10:2 ration of left-wingers to right-wingers. And that was just how Dateline used to be back in the day. In the run-up to the 2010 general election, for another example, this string of guests resulted:

13/3 Yasmin Alibhai Brown
20/3 Adam Raphael
27/3 Isabel Hilton
3/4 Johann Hari
10/4 Steve Richards
17/4 Janet Daley
24/4 Michael White
1/5 Yasmin Alibhai Brown 

So, although there's still a lot of work to do, Dateline has progressed somewhat over the years from 'ultra-biased' to 'pretty biased'.

Crack open the champagne, guys! Let's party like it's 1997!

1 comment:

  1. They are obviously making an effort with Alex Deane - genuinely right wing - but generally the left wing bias is palpable.


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