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Thursday, June 07, 2007

BBC business coverage ‘not balanced’

This blog posting is something of a personal gripe and not directly connected to the 50-plus. You have been warned.

I have often thought that the single action that would have most impact on the health of the UK would be turn-off the BBC. This flip of a switch would have greater impact on reducing the collective blood pressure of Brits than all of the medications that they pop down their throats.

How can this be? How can this great British treasure; this broadcasting pearl amongst the media swine, be so detrimental to a nation’s health? Simple – ignorance and bias.

The BBC has its own take on everything from the Middle East to waste recycling. Long ago did it relinquish any claim to balanced reporting. The frustration this creates in large sectors of the population has now crossed the line from a mere irritation to being physiologically destructive.

What joy to read the headline in the FT saying the BBC’s business coverage is guilty of: “repeated breaches of its impartiality standards”, according to a report it commissioned. (The FT is subscription only).

A review by a former top adviser to the UK government concluded that a lack of knowledge of the commercial world among journalists and a preoccupation with the consumer perspective was seen to lead to unconscious “partial and unbalanced coverage of business issues”.
The tendency to adopt the consumer’s viewpoint led to coverage being framed as a “battle between ‘unscrupulous’ company bosses and their ‘exploited’ customers”, it said.

Will anything change as a result of this report? Nope. But it is still great to know that one’s personal irritations are well founded. Dick Stroud

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