Tuesday 19 April 2016

"Mishal Husain will be looking into migration"

That edition of Samira Ahmed's Newswatch included an interview with James Stephenson, News Editor for BBC News and Current Affairs (the man who has just made anti-UKIP Jasmine Lawrence his deputy). During the interview he said that the BBC will be broadcasting more EU referendum-related programmes like Europe: Them or Us over the coming weeks, and that "Mishal Husain will be looking into migration". 

Wonder if that's anything to do with the BBC's World on the Move Day - an all-day, multi-platform 'event' focusing on migration that will fill the BBC's airwaves on 16 May? The BBC's press release says that Mishal Husain will have an important role in that too - though it doesn't connect the event to the EU referendum. 


  1. I've been going through the BBC's EU Editorial Guidelines, and noticed this:


    The cut and thrust of other political stories, which may relate either in part or be separate from the issues of the referendum, will continue during the campaign period. These should be covered in the normal way, with content producers having regard for the general requirement of due accuracy and impartiality, but also aware of any possible influence of other political coverage on the referendum campaign.

    In particular, content producers should take care in considering whether, in covering issues such as the economy, migration, environmental issues etc, they may have direct relevance to the referendum debate, or be perceived as relating to the question of the referendum.

    This is not the 'normal way', is it? Have they taken care in considering the connection to the referendum? You bet they have - it's why they're doing it. It's designed to influence the debate, because that's how BBC journalists approach everything.

    The BBC is already guilty of multiple violations of other guidelines:

    Particular care should be taken in ensuring it is clear to the audience who or what a contributor is representing (for instance, one of the designated groups).

    How many times have we seen Rule #1 in effect already? Plus:

    Content producers must ensure that our use of certain phrases or words, in a particular context, does not inadvertently convey a meaning which may be construed as favouring one side or the other. Where such terms are used, there should be clear attribution.

    They must know about our Rule #1, because they bring it up a second time:

    In the context of the referendum on the EU, content producers will need to take all reasonable steps to be sure that contributors are appropriately described, taking account, for instance, of previous public statements on the issue, including comments on social media, how their organisations are funded and the nature of quoted research or polling.

    There is no way they will follow any of these properly. They're too blind to what they do.

  2. Whenever someone who is receiving a pension from the EU, and I am thinking particularly of Lords Mandelson & Kinnock, is asked for an opinion on the EU in the interests of impartiality it should be mentioned that they are reciving a pension and this pension will be forfeited if they say anything detrimental about the EU. In the current climate of financial transparency it would not be amiss to mention the size of their pensions.

    Christopher Scopes

    1. Agreed. Although will their pensions be forfeit just for criticizing? Mandelson will also have vested business interests. Don't know about Kinnock, but there will be others who do.

  3. Yes Mishal...she'll be impartial on mass migration won't she? Of Pakistani heritage and raised in Saudi Arabia and having enjoyed accelerated promotion in the multiculturalist milieu BBC News. Let's face it, she is Queen of PC Bland and I couldn't think of a worse person to address the existential threat of mass migration in the UK - with inward migration currently running at 600,000 (minimum) = 6 million per decade = about 10 million with associated population growth.


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