Tuesday 27 December 2016

More on that intriguing tweet

Here's a little more on the mystery of Tom Holland's tweet (see yesterday) - a tweet based on Tim Shipman of the Sunday Times's book about Brexit: 
A BBC review of their Brexit coverage lamented that too many of the Leave supporters they interviewed "were a bit shaven-headed, tattooed".
The mystery here was that I couldn't find any internet reference to such a BBC review. 

News-watch's David Keighley has ridden to my rescue and read the passage in question, and it reads as follows (and a big thanks to David for this):
Once the referendum was over, executives did a second, qualitative review of the coverage and concluded that the BBC had been unfair during the campaign, but not in the way Craig Oliver believed. 
It found that because most BBC reporters live and work in London, which voted remain, they did not reflect enough the pro-Brexit feeling from the rest of England and Wales. A source ‘familiar with the review’ (my quotation marks) said, “There was some criticism, which I would not shy away from, that some of the Leave people we interviewed were a bit shaven-headed, tattooed, and looked like they were slightly on the far wing of the campaign. We could have done more to give what I would call ordinary decent Leave voters a little bit more air time.”
So, there must have been two BBC reviews of the corporation's Brexit coverage and, presumably, both must have been internal reviews 'for the BBC's eyes only' (like the Balen report).

It would be very interesting to see them (like the Balen report) and, hopefully, they will make those findings public (unlike the Balen report) - especially given that the BBC has obviously already shared them enough for Tim Shipman to know enough about what they 'found' to include it in his book.


  1. Incidentally, I blogged yesterday, 27th under "Flogging Dead Horses" about BBC Stalinism in Riccy Tomlinson's "Who Do You Think You Are" which was surreal in many ways.

  2. Er, but they denied such bias at the time...


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