Wednesday 26 August 2015

John Whittingdale on BBC bias: "Do I think there is general bias towards the left? No"

John Whittingdale advancing on Broadcasting House (as imagined by  Roger Bolton of 'Feedback')

The BBC's 'nemesis' John Whittingdale has been speaking at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Here are some of the things he said, as quoted by the Independent and the Guardian:
This idea that there is an ideological drive to destroy the BBC is just extraordinary, the people rushing to defend the BBC are tilting at windmills, they are trying to have an argument that has never been started, certainly not by me. 
Britain's image abroad is enormously strengthened by the success of the BBC. 
Do I think there is general bias towards the left? No. 
For the moment, the licence fee or something like it is the best option.

I’m not convinced that people feel that it is right that the BBC Trust decides if the BBC has got it right or wrong. We haven’t decided yet whether to give it to Ofcom, but Ofcom do carry out that function for other broadcasters and certainly there is an argument … I would say Ofcom are doing a good job in terms of regulation of complaints over Channel 4 and over ITV. I think they probably could do it for the BBC. Whether that’s the right outcome, we haven’t yet decided but a lot of people do hold that view and have expressed it.


  1. Have to give him credit; he's consistent.

    Since he chaired the Future of the BBC he has never wavered from being concerned solely with how best to keep the BBC funded, however uniquely, and as unaccountable as it has always been.

    Which is a pity.

  2. Why is that there are never any enemies from the Left waiting to pounce on the BBC? Why is there no significant group of journalists and commentators writing article after article and doing studies and reports about the problem of the BBC's Right-wing bias?

  3. Never say never.

    From Media Lens to several recently facilitated by the New Statesman and Graun, there have been, out of thousands of jounos and millions of articles... a few.

    Certainly enough for BBC PR and senior management to spin this as 'must be getting it about right' if they are offending everyone.

    Of course this is the entity that had 100:1 outrage (ironically in Graun) in the comments on the 10:10 splatter video as 'views being split'.


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