Tuesday 17 July 2018

Rise and Fall

The reporting of the latest official UK immigration statistics has brought out the usual sharp contrast in angles between various media outlets. 

Contrasting (online) headlines tell a key part of the story:

On one side you have papers like the Times with Net migration rises as more arrive from outside the EU and the Daily Mail with Net immigration to Britain hit 282,000 last year and the Sun with Theresa May has been urged to ‘get serious’ about Border control after migration rose to 280K.

On the other side you have papers like the Guardian with Migration to UK from EU falls to lowest level for four years and the FT with Net migration to Brexit Britain from EU drops to 5-year low and the Independent with EU net migration hits four-year low in wake of Brexit, figures show and the Daily Mirror with EU migration to UK falls to lowest in almost five years

The Daily Telegraph stakes its own angle, however, with Brexodus is not happening, ONS suggests despite EU net migration falling to 100,000.

And where does the BBC sit on this polarised spectrum? Firmly in the second camp. Its online headline on the story went through a couple of changes but the main angle remained consistent. It began as Migration figures: EU migration to UK lowest since 2013, ONS says, changed to Migration figures: Record number of EU citizens emigrate from UK and finally ended up as Migration from EU to UK lowest for four years, ONS figures show.

The sharpest contrast to the BBC's take is the Telegraph's take - and it goes well beyond the contrasting headlines ('Brexodus is not happening' v 'Record number of EU citizens emigrate from UK'). Their respective angles pervade their entire reports. Note, for example, that the Telegraph quotes Jay Lindop, Deputy Director of the ONS's migration division, saying: 
Much has been written about EU citizens leaving the UK, but the fact is there are still more people coming to the country from the EU than leaving it.
while the BBC doesn't. Instead the BBC features its own reporter, Danny Shaw, saying:
...the fact  [the EU emigration figures] have risen so sharply would appear to be further evidence of the impact of the Brexit vote.
And the BBC article's subheadline reinforces the point:

It's almost if all media outlets - including the ones that claim to be impartial - have angles to push and push them vigorously, isn't it?


  1. Stuff bubbling away yesterday in the BBC Group Subconcious (a terrifying beast it must be said):

    "...We need an angle that supports our anti-Brexit campaign...EU migrants returning home, no more doctors and nurses or construction workers...make your own coffee...bring it to work in one of those holder things...long*...non-EU migration up, so want to say "serves you right, Brexiters" but don't want to sound racist, so best leave that alone...hint at it maybe, leave it hanging in the air, significant pause, that sort of thing...ask Farage what he thinks about that, never know he might say something he regrets...but remember, got to be positive about migration...vital services, demands of business, global economy, economic growth, all that stuff...maybe throw in some anti-Trump stuff, not possible to build walls in modern world sort of stuff...increasingly connected world...mood music...nice images...smiling children..."

    * For older viewers, "long" is what young Beebsters now use for "boring" or "irksome".

  2. BBC1's report about the figures on the 10pm news last night was a classic. Former Guardian meejah man Kamal Ahmed, also famed for his (non) neutrality on matters economic during the EU referendum, opened with a disgruntled married right-on couple (she a German national) who were now leaving the UK because it was no longer tolerant of those from EU countries . There followed multiple (patronising) graphs showing the precipitous scale of the intolerance of us nasty Brits. Throughout, Ahmed had the pained tone which is a speciality of BBC correspondents when they are describing President Trump, racism, and those opposed to any of the multiple political/moral/ethical causes which the BBC now openly supports.

    1. Yes, that pained tone...they must all have to do a six week course at RADA before being allowed to report for the BBC.

  3. Whatever the chosen spin the point not being made is - there are now more immigrants in the UK this year than there were last year and, I suggest, it is that which concerns people worried about the changing face of the UK.


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