Wednesday, May 09, 2018

BBC Bias - The BBC's response

Dear - Franklin

Thanks for contacting us about recent BBC News coverage of UK politics.

We note you feel there hasn't been enough coverage of alleged incidents of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. It's clear you find a difference between this and the media treatment of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. This has been shared with news staff and senior colleagues in BBC News.

Following Baroness Warsi’s comment, the Muslim Council of Britain’s complaint about the Conservatives has not been picked up by other organisations or Westminster politicians - as the anti-Semitism allegations within the Labour Party have been. The Muslim Council of Britain appears to have made these most recent comments in a statement to another news organisation. At the time of writing, the MCB has not issued a press release, or put these comments about the Conservative Party and Islamophobia on its website.

However, we have reported on the suspension of specific individuals in the Conservative party - online examples remain here:

In 2016 we also reported criticisms of the tone of the Conservative Mayoral campaign in London:

We have also reported on attitudes to and the treatment of Muslims more widely in the UK. For example, earlier this year Panorama recently reported from Blackburn, a town with a large Muslim Asian population, looking at divisions along ethnic lines in the town and how they have changed over time.

We will continue to report impartially and fairly on developments, both at a Party level and more generally speaking.

Thanks for taking the time to share your reaction with us.

Kind Regards

BBC Complaints Team

I do not think that this in any way addresses the problem that I complained about in my previous post.

I will therefore be taking this further, addressing what they say and restating the point.

I find it seriously worrying that you only consider something newsworthy if it is "picked up by other organisations or Westminster politicians".  The BBC employs a large number of journalists who should be researching these stories themselves, rather than relying on other media or the MPs to do their work for them. When did the BBC stop looking for news stories and only pick them up from other organisations.  

I think few would dispute that the vast majority of the main stream media ("other organisations") are conservative supporting, and certainly anti-Corbyn (and anti-Green Party too).  This means that you are taking your stories from a very biased source and creating the very echo chamber that is so often decried.  This simply reinforces the so called "Westminster bubble" and it is imperative for the survival of democracy in this country that you use a much wider set of sources.

Secondly, on the specifics of your response.  Yes, the three stories  that you cite were reported online, but the anti-Semitism story was the lead story for day after day and in the news for weeks. What is more, a quick search of your site finds plenty of stories of Labour councillors being suspended such as

And, I could easily find more.

So, to suggest that a few articles about suspension of individual Tory councillors (when there are a similar number of articles on suspended Labour councillors (and quite possibly from other parties if I could be bothered to look), simply does not balance the endless stories about anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

Indeed, I find the response so disingenuous that it is quite clear that you are trying to cover up the degree of bias that exists at the BBC.

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