BBC Response

The BBC has made the following response - at least, it's supposed to be a response, though this is barely more than an acknowledgement - to the complaint I made on 23rd August.

I think they have a different understanding from myself of what it means "to identify all significant views, and to test them rigorously and fairly."

"Dear Mr Whiteside

Thanks for your e-mail regarding 'PM'.

We apologise for the delay in replying to your e-mail. We realise that our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we’re sorry that you had to wait on this occasion.

We acknowledge your concerns that both sides of the argument weren't put across in an item comparing the election of Sheriffs in the USA with the UK Coalition government's proposals regarding Police Commissioners. We also note that you feel that the differences between these systems weren't adequately explained.

We can assure you that impartiality forms the cornerstone of our output however it's not always possible or practical to reflect all the different opinions on a subject within individual programmes. Editors are charged to ensure that over a reasonable period they reflect the range of significant views, opinions and trends in their subject area. The BBC does not seek to denigrate any view, nor to promote any view. It seeks rather to identify all significant views, and to test them rigorously and fairly on behalf of the audience. Among other evidence, audience research indicates widespread confidence in the impartiality of the BBC's reporting.

We do however appreciate your views and your feedback which will be recorded on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback which is made available to our senior management, programmers and other senior figures within the organisation, including those in programme production for ‘PM'.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.


Tim said…
Now you need to start complaining about the BBC's blatant bias when reporting on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.
Chris Whiteside said…
Out of interest, Tim, do you consider the BBC to be blatantly biased in favour of the Palestinians or in favour of Israel?

I note that there are people who regard them as biased in each direction.
Tim said…

One of the great joys of the internet is the simply staggering amount of information that you can get your hands on. One of my favourite sites is Medialens. Personally, after reading many articles on this site and others, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the BBC is biased against the Palestinians. Try the following article:

I recall several years ago a bus bomb exploding in Israel. Heinous though this was, the language of the BBC was all too typical.

"Bus bomb marks the end of a lull in Middle Eastern violence"

During this "lull" nearly 300 Palestinians had died; this included two sisters aged 5 and 2 who had been shot in the face whilst buying sweets. It makes you want to cry.
Chris Whiteside said…
I've seen examples of reporting which I thought were biased against the Palestinians. I have also seen examples of reporting I thought were biased against Israel. You may well have a point that the article you refer to is one of the former.
Tim said…

I'm unaware of articles that pro-Jewish/Israeli groups have complained about, do you have any examples ?
Chris Whiteside said…
I typed the words "pro-palestinian bias" into an internet search engine and got 39,200 results from around the world including some from Britain. I'm not suggesting for a moment that you or I would agree with every one of the accusations you will get if you do this, but I think it's pretty clear that both sides on this one are convinced that large chunks of the media are biased against them.

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