Saturday 14 September 2019

One of Our Nations is (Almost) Missing

Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast (built 1933, architect Sir Richard Allison - who also designed London's Science Museum)

On this week's Newswatch Samira Ahmed noted that "strongly-worded complaints that BBC News has a bias against Brexit significantly outnumber objections of a prejudice in favour of Brexit, though there have been plenty of the latter too." 

Those who inhabit Twitter might be surprised by that - though not us. 

The programme began with complaints about the BBC's "completely 100% biased, totally one-sided" (anti-Brexit) coverage of the Scottish High Court's ruling against Boris's decision to prorogue Parliament, using footage from BBC One's News at Six on Wednesday, which devoted its first ten minutes to the story. 

The Scottish ruling was on one of three cases brought against the Government - one in England/Wales, one in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland. The English/Welsh High Court had earlier ruled in the Government's favour. 

Not complained about by Newswatch viewers something I saw objected to on Twitter - that Thursday's ruling by the Northern Irish High Court in favour of Boris didn't get anywhere near like the same extensive coverage as the Scottish ruling. 

Indeed, checking via TV Eyes, it transpires that none of the three main BBC One news bulletins (News at One, News and Six and News and Ten) even mentioned the ruling from Belfast, never mind led with it. 

It didn't rank as enough of a story for them, evidently. 

It got mentions on the BBC News Channel in the late morning - the first (as 'breaking news') at 11:21, the last at 12:09, with nothing thereafer. 

Meanwhile, as TV Eyes also shows, Sky News - including the famous Kay Burley - began reporting the story at 11:23 and kept on reporting it throughout the afternoon into the early evening. 

Am I missing something, or isn't this serious bias by omission from the BBC?

TV Eyes shows that Channel 4 News and ITV News ignored it, so they agreed with the BBC - which doesn't necessarily make the BBC's downplaying of the development any less questionable. 


  1. Craig - this is the first post I’ve read today so apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but it was the same with the new of the ECB turning on QE again, it was featured but got nowhere near the coverage of other headlines.

  2. "though there have been plenty of the latter too"...she forget to add parenthetically "(six from Alistair Campell and 23 from Lord Adonis)".

  3. Home Countries is a term from the past now no longer used by the BBC.


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