Monday 27 September 2021

Two and a half months later...

On the open thread, Charlie referred to the BBC's 'reality check' of the causes of the lorry driver shortage, noting that it underplayed the availability of DVLA tests during the pandemic and overplayed Brexit as a cause.

Something interesting has happened to that BBC 'reality check' though. 

When I glanced at it a couple of days ago I spotted a glaring error. It said that there's now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK and that:
That number included tens of thousands of drivers from EU member states who were living and working in the UK. 

I'd read in The Times that, according to available figures [figures already noted by the BBC's own More or Less at the very start of September], 19,000 out of some 45,000 EU drivers have left in the last couple of years, so saying ''tens of thousands'' for that 19.000 figure looked misleading, to put it mildly. [In fact it was plain wrong.]

I was just about to 'catch up' and post that, but things have changed. I see it's been 'stealth edited' this very afternoon. It now says: 
That number includes thousands of drivers from European Union (EU) member states who were previously living and working in the UK. 
So, this BBC 'reality check' has been up since 14 July. It's been updated in August and throughout September. Yet only now - nearly two and a half months after it was first published - has the BBC corrected it. 

Who reality-checks the reality-checkers at the BBC? 

I'm guessing that a complaint has wended its way through the BBC's tortuous complaints process to bring this about, though it could just be a BBC person spotting an embarrassing lapse at a time when many eyes are on the piece in question and quietly putting things right. 

It certainly was 'quietly' though. Thank goodness for Newsniffer. 

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