Sunday 27 May 2018


I know that some people hereabouts (naming no names, but elsewhere from ITBB) aren't too keen on posts highlighting BBC activity on Twitter. But Twitter (however much we may dislike it) matters. 

And BBC reporters are bound by impartiality guidelines even when they're tweeting. 

And many of them not only put their BBC credentials into their 'Twitter handles and bios', they use their Twitter feed - just as the BBC encouraged them to do - as a key part of their official BBC reporting. (And they use it to plug their books too).

So it most certainly isn't incidental or trivial if a BBC reporter - especially a senior BBC reporter - betrays a strong political bias on Twitter.

Senior BBC high-ups in recent years (Helen Boaden, Mary Hockaday) have sent our emails to all BBC staff sternly warning them not to embarrass the BBC by sounding off on social media, but their stern injunctions still haven't hit home with many a prominent BBC journalist... 

...which is why, among many other BBC reporters, it's good that Monkey Brains, Peter, me (if I say so myself) and others are keeping a close eye on the Twitter feeds of certain high-profile BBC journalists. 

And so, I'm glad to say, is our old friend DB - still digging away, still confronting BBC journalists. (DB was largely responsible for forcing Helen & Mary to send out those finger-wagging emails to BBC staff about the need for them to keep their biased gobs shut).

And it's especially significant when the Twitter bias matches the reporting bias of the BBC reporter. It shows that they haven't hung their opinions up (like coats) at the door, Hugh Sykes-style

No one who reads Jeremy Bowen's Twitter feed, for example, will find the slightest mismatch between the direction of bias blogs like this claim about him there and the direction of bias we claim for his reports on BBC TV and radio. (At least he's consistent!). 

Ditto John Simpson.

The one mirrors the other.

And the same goes for blog favourite Anthony Zurcher. His Twitter feed reads like a long string of sarcastic jibes/barbed criticism about/of Donald Trump. (I have to say he's pretty good at them, however biased they may be. And his largely on-side, partisan readership love them too.) His BBC reporting (online, on TV) is also no different - ironic, opinionated, one-sided. (So he's consistent as well).

So if you, dear reader, spot other egregious examples of BBC reporters bringing shame on Helen Boaden, Mary Hockaday and their successors please keep posting them. 

Another of our old blogging friends, David Preiser (USA), was working on a book about BBC tweets the last I heard of him (though I spot him from time to time commenting, in disguise, at The Spectator). I hope he's well and happy. And if he's still working on that book all the better!

1 comment:

  1. "And BBC reporters are bound by impartiality guidelines even when they're tweeting. ..." Few of them seem to realise this (or at least pretend not to). Who you quote, who you get to voice your opinions, is just as important as what you say yourself, if all the quotations/retweets you choose are biased to a particular viewpoint.


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