Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A handy guide to BBC bias

I am often struck by the frequency with which the BBC is accused of bias. Left wingers claim it is doing a fine line spinning for the Coalition and point to Nick Robinson as a prime example of its unfair stance while people on the right hand side of the political spectrum trot out the "stuffed full of bloody do-gooder lefties" line.

Now, I am well known for my contradictory politics, the Brollinger Bolshevik, a true champion of gampagne socialism, quaffing fine wines while discussing how to help the poor. Bashing the greed of bankers while chasing peerages and writing window dressing reports for the Eton elite. Naturally left leaning but with a right wing skew. And while it is possible that there are examples where the Beeb strays from impartiality one way on one subject and the other on another, realistically it can't always be biased both ways at the same time. Which suggests very clearly to me where the real bias lies.

People seem to mistake "bias" with "not presenting things in the same way as I want them presented to fit in with my entrenched ideological standpoint".

But hey what do I know? Maybe I am biased.


  1. I used to think that way.This isn't ideology for some of us. We don't have that level of comfort. Because of illness and disability my family has become reliant on state benefits, and like many in that position it has become obvious that the BBC has been toeing the Coalition line on welfare. You'll read shock-horror pieces about disability hate crime, but matters like the Hardest Hit march are severely downplayed. The flipside (or 'balance') is DWP press releases printed without critique, John Humphrys pushing benefit stereotypes and Panorama banging on about those on Incapacity Benefit using yachts.

    It might look like swings and roundabouts from the outside, but if you are on the roundabout it's far, far more serious.

  2. I didn't mean to trivialise this debate but was reacting to observing on many occasions two people commenting on an identical bit of reporting where one screams leftie bias and the other right.

    The bias you mention above may be as a result of bad, ineffective journalism and/or effective media management by the government at getting its version across - something that was also obvious during Blair years. I don't believe, however, it is a conscious policy of the BBC to favour any side.