The BBC is trusted to provide an in-depth and unbiased account of the news. Does it fulfill this brief?National and Public Service Broadcasters use four main techniques to impose bias. The most frequent bias is the omission of news from one side of a debate so that it appears as if a particular view is obvious. Another technique is anecdotal reporting in which they use people like glove puppets, interviewing erudite academics on one side of an issue and fools on the other side. A subtler technique is to attach news summaries to current affairs programs so that news can be divided into factual news and suspect opinions. The use of US news as if it applied to the UK is another method of hiding bias.The BBC are the masters of subtle bias. Why they are biased will be discussed later but
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The BBC is trusted to provide an in-depth and unbiased account of the news. Does it fulfill this brief?
National and Public Service Broadcasters use four main techniques to impose bias. The most frequent bias is the omission of news from one side of a debate so that it appears as if a particular view is obvious. Another technique is anecdotal reporting in which they use people like glove puppets, interviewing erudite academics on one side of an issue and fools on the other side. A subtler technique is to attach news summaries to current affairs programs so that news can be divided into factual news and suspect opinions. The use of US news as if it applied to the UK is another method of hiding bias.
The BBC are the masters of subtle bias. Why they are biased will be discussed later but here are some obvious recent examples:
Meghan and Harry - Dividing the Truth: The BBC covered Meghan and Harry's complaint that their children would not be princes and princesses on the news and then had a commentator discuss whether or not this was a valid complaint. Great grandchildren of the monarch are not given the title prince or princess, this is the normal process and should have been said on the news, not included as an opinion of a commentator on royal affairs. This method of using news broadcasts attached to current affairs programs to divide the news into "announced facts" and "facts delivered as opinions" is very sophisticated.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) - News Omission: The BBC has suppressed/omitted any coverage of the change of name of BLM back to its original meaning of "Black Liberation Movement" (a Maoist organisation). The BBC still, incorrectly, uses the term Black Lives Matter for the Black Liberation Movement.
BLM - News Omission: The BBC omitted the actual rate of deaths of black people in police custody in the UK. In most years the rate is 1 or 0 and not due to police brutality.
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Police brutality on arrest does occasionally happen in the UK but, given that there are almost one million arrests a year it is exceedingly rare.
Trade - Anecdotal Reporting: The BBC reported the recent trade figures with the EU as a disaster. In the context of overall UK-EU trading the figures were almost normal as can be seen from the graph below. To obtain bias the BBC announced the figures for January as a change from the previous, highly anomalous, COVID affected months.
The Race Report - Anecdotal Reporting plus news suppression: The "Report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities" is a long document filled with interesting, real data on discrimination and racism. The BBC omitted to report on its content and almost entirely relied on anecdotal comments by opponents of the Report.
Anyone who follows the news from multiple sources will listen to any BBC News broadcast and spot the manipulation of every other item. Why are they doing this when they have a corporate purpose that is supposed to impose impartiality?
The biggest clue about the motivation of the BBC staff is that, according to a member of the department that vetted BBC employees, it did not blacklist a single member of staff: "not one person was blacklisted after being screened in the 17 years that he worked for the company." (Daily Mail). This means that anyone with the right connections and a modicum of ability could join the BBC as an editor, producer or journalist. This lack of vetting might seem to be a "good thing" but the BBC is a magnet for anyone with strong political convictions. Since the 1990s the vetting department has been discontinued.
In the 1930s the BBC was heavily penetrated by Communists, even employing Guy Burgess, one of the Cambridge spies, and George Orwell, a self confessed communist at that time. It also employed very large numbers of foreign journalists in the World Service. Britain was a major power until the end of the 1950s and, like any superpower, gathered large numbers of enemies. The net effect of this mixture was to create an organisation that is anti-British.
Although some members of the BBC dream of revolution and others dream of "justice" for their country of origin and yet others look forward to global government (probably run by China) what they all agree upon is that Britain is bad. This is the common thread in BBC bias. They all agree that polarising society is the way forward.
As we saw above, Britain is bad: it refuses to grant poor Harry and Meghan's children princely status, its police kill black people all the time, its stupid lower classes voted for Brexit which has destroyed UK-EU trade, its government commissioned a race report that everyone says is a lie: and that is just in the past few months! The only problem is that all of these claims are due to biased news reporting and false.
Something must be done about the BBC. The obvious course of action is to cut the BBC back to two broadcast channels and transfer BBC global operations to an entirely separate company "BBC Global", run by the Foreign Office. Having done this the Charter should explicitly include the following:
The Corporation should:
Provide impartial, quality reporting of the news.
It should regularly review the omission of news.
Where anecdotal reporting is used, whether by interview or by selection of data it must be counterbalanced by fair coverage of the context of the reporting.
News broadcasts must be separate from current affairs programs and be self contained for the purpose of impartiality.
Coverage of important events and movements in other countries, especially in the USA, should contain a brief summary of what is happening in the UK so that the two countries are not elided into a single entity. US news should be reported in a global context - for instance EU Racism and genocide in China should be compared with US Racism.
The BBC should produce programming that promotes unity and enhances the national morale. This would have been useful during COVID.
Campaigning should be forbidden. The BBC must not campaign on any issue, even on issues that appear "good".
It must not use any channel for 24 hour news.
The monitoring of BBC impartiality should be removed from Ofcom and given to an independent panel of reviewers, which would include people from all walks of life and exclude ex-BBC staff. It would have a small number of permanent investigators who would probe the omission of news etc. after each broadcast.
These changes should lead to a reduction in the license fee and stop valid claims of unfair competition from competitors. The changes will also lead to the BBC being highly regarded as a source or truthful news coverage.