The conversation continues:
David Aaronovitch: There’s a lot to recommend several of your points Robbie. But if you were to critique them yourself, where do you think the weaknesses or complexities in your own checklist are?Robbie Gibb: I’m not sure people truly understand impartiality - as you know it’s not just about balance. It requires broadcasting extending its gene pool of staff to include diversity of background and political views (as well as gender and ethnicity). It could take years.Jill Jervis: Definitely no impartiality on TV or newspapers this GE. In fact there was nothing but pure lies about Labour & no critic of Cons so the sooner the better TV licence goes.David Aaronovitch: Jill, how do you explain to yourself that Tories and Brexiteers seem just as convinced that broadcasters are totally biased against them? And if your explanation is that they’re mistaken then isn’t it just as possible that you are?Peter Lamb: This argument that "everybody criticises us so we must be doing a good job' is way over used and fails the most basic scrutiny. A classic case of BS baffles brains.David Aaronovitch: That’s not my argument.Peter Lamb: My concern is that an assumption that criticism is symmetrical and of equal merit tends to encourage exaggeration. We now observe intense criticism of the BBC and others. Is it possible that this is amplified by the casual dismissal of criticism under the balance defence?David Aaronovitch: Possibly, but I don’t think that’s a primary factor.Robbie Gibb: It is possible that broadcasters can be biased against the right and left at different times. My argument is things need to change to prioritise impartiality starting with twitter and broadcast interviews.Alistair Stewart: There is also the tricky issue of broadcast reporters being one thing 'on-air' - balanced & impartial - and believing they have can have another personae on social media - the partisan lobbyist. They are the same person, with the same duties.
It's almost as if a debate has started. Almost but not quite - the reality for the moment is that BBC Fat Cats have stopped purring, arched their backs and taken a step back...the thought of all those lovely cans of Licence Fee money no longer being removed from the cupboard is giving them pause (no pun intended) for thought...ReplyDelete
Hence their willingness to engage a little, but only a little, lest we conclude they are arrogant and detached.