Tuesday 27 September 2016

Freelance matters

Olivia Crellin

I don't usually make pronouncements about where I stand on subjects other than BBC bias, usually because my views are rather confused (and confusing). That said...

On the transgender question, I take a libertarian rather than a conservative view - or, probably more accurately, a classic liberal view (John Stuart Mill): i.e. Unless it harms others, I don't think it's anyone else's business. Thus, if, say, someone born a man wants to be a woman, or if someone born a woman wants to become a man, good luck to them. Everyone should be as happy as they can be if unhappiness doesn't generally increase as a result.

However, I then become conservative again wherever children are involved, as I believe that the traditional family is, broadly-speaking, much better for children and that we ought to be very cautious about encouraging family situations that are likely to be less good for children. 

And that's why I worry about such unblinkingly liberal articles as this BBC Magazine report:

and its corresponding report on last Thursday's From Our Own Correspondent with its heroic (website) talk of the transgender parents "challenging some local assumptions"...

...especially when the 'counterbalancing' criticism of the transgender couple in that report comes from those who think they have been too traditional regarding family structures and too conciliatory towards the Catholic Church. 

If there's one bit of BBC bias that surely no one can disagree with, it's that (except in certain special circumstances, usually regarding Muslim sensibilities), the BBC is heavily socially liberal in outlook. And this kind of article only feeds that impression.

And there's another issue with this piece (and its radio equivalent), as noted over at Biased BBC
After trawling through the piece, there is something at the foot of the article that caught my eye: “This article was made possible through a grant to the author from the One World Media foundation.” A BBC employee is being PAID by a third-party special interest entity to write a blatantly biased material (that was pitched to them: 2016 Production Fund | One World Media) to push a specific social agenda
The reporter in question, Olivia Crellin, who is "passionate about social justice, women's issues, mental health and long-form journalism", is actually a freelance reporter (which, as ever with the BBC, complicates matters). She mainly works for the BBC World Service though. As noted at B-BBC though, her BBC report was funded by an external organisation with a mission statement which smacks rather more of the 'Social Justice Warrior' than the 'impartial BBC' (though it fits very well with the BBC's actual reporting):
One World Media’s mission is to support strong vibrant and independent media that empowers citizens, promotes justice and contributes to international development.We believe that the media can be a powerful force for good. It provides valuable information, increases cultural understanding and contributes to global fairness and justice. Our vision is of a world where every country has free and plural media providing accurate information and high-quality content.
So the questions remains: Should the BBC be involved in such activities? And would they ever promote the results if they advanced a socially conservative position? (I think the answers there are: 'Only if the resulting report is presented in as impartial a way as possible {unlike this report}' to the first question, and 'No, that's extremely unlikely to happen' to the second question).


  1. I'm the same as long as it doesn't hurt others and it makes you happy crack on!

    My concern is that children may be getting pushed into alternate gender identifying by overly liberal (lefty) pushy parents.

    All they've probably done is play with alternate sex toys or something equally innocent that then becomes something more in the eyes of the "desperate to do the right thing" parents. Then the kids are too young to understand any different and go along with it.

    Father of two girls aged 3 and 5.

    1. You're completely right.

      There's a photo of me still in existence dressed as a dinnerlady, aged 5 (wearing an apron and Gran's woolly hat). Whatever I felt then, or aged 9, or even aged 15 (when I half-fancied being a lesbian), is certainly not what I feel now.

      As for pushy over-liberal parents, you may have heard (or read about) that recent Radio 4 iPM featuring a 10-year-old who feels 'non binary'. The BBC website printed the child's take, saying:

      "With research help for his parents, he's decided he is non-binary - in his case, both masculine and feminine".


      That sort of thing is something the BBC really should have a long, hard think about before reporting as it makes them seem like an overly liberal (lefty) pushy broadcaster.

    2. I think I half remembered it and it prompted my comment, but thanks for the link.

      Kinda ironic that kids might rebel by coming out as straight!

  2. It's an indoctrination into post-modern relativism. The line between activism and journalism at the BBC was blurred a long time ago. They're not even trying to pretend otherwise now, and will have a ready excuse for allowing to continue. Yet, they kicked a regional radio DJ out his prime slot for the weeks running up to the general election because he was engaged to a Tory candidate, even though he wasn't an activist or pushed pro-Tory bias on air.

    1. At least Jasmine Lawrence was promoted eventually. For balance.


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