Criticism of the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) took its present form on 1 January 1927 when Sir John Reith became its first Director General. Reith stated that impartiality and objectivity were the essence of professionalism in broadcasting.
Criticisms of the corporation's perceived lack of impartiality and objectivity have since been made by some observers. Owing to the corporation's high standards of programming, and its objective to be impartial and unbiased in its reporting, whenever the corporation is perceived to be falling short of these high expectations, or its reporting is viewed as more sympathetic with one side of an argument than the other, criticism may be levelled at the BBC.
Another key area of criticism is the mandatory licence fee, as commercial competitors argue that this means of financing is unfair and has the result of limiting their ability to compete with the corporation. Also, accusations of waste or over-staffing occasionally prompt comments from politicians and the media.
- 1 20th century
- 2 21st century
- 3 Specific allegations
- 3.1 Israeli–Palestinian conflict
- 3.2 Iraq and the Hutton Inquiry
- 3.3 2006 Lebanon War
- 3.4 The Balen Report
- 3.5 Barbara Plett's tears for Yasser Arafat
- 3.6 Jeremy Bowen
- 3.7 Pro-Muslim bias
- 3.8 Anti-Muslim bias
- 3.9 Arab Spring
- 3.10 Indophobia
- 3.11 Anti-Hindu bias
- 3.12 Anti-Sikh racism
- 3.13 Anti-American bias
- 3.14 John Redwood's deregulation proposals
- 3.15 Secret Agent documentary
- 3.16 Jerry Springer: The Opera
- 3.17 Climate change
- 3.18 Anti-Catholic bias
- 3.19 Documentary on Euro 2012
- 3.20 Sexual abuse scandals and their implications
- 3.21 Primark and child labour
- 4 'London-centrism'
- 5 'Overstaffing'
- 6 Funding
- 7 BBC Russia
- 8 Wales and Scotland coverage controversy
- 9 Scottish independence referendum
- 10 European Union coverage
- 11 'Off payroll' tax arrangements
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
1926 General Strike
The BBC was established as the privately controlled British Broadcasting Company in 1922. In 1926 the unions called for a General Strike and the Conservative Government feared the outbreak of revolution, as had happened in Russia in 1917. Labour Party politicians such as Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden criticised the BBC for being pro-Government and anti-Unions; however, throughout the strike, Reith insisted that the news bulletins report all sides of the dispute without comment.
Reith's attempts to broadcast statements by the Labour Party and TUC leaders were blocked by the Government; in partial response, he personally vetoed a statement that Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, wished to make, in the belief that allowing such a statement would give Winston Churchill both motive and opportunity to take over the BBC — something which Churchill had continually advocated since the beginning of the Strike. Reith admitted to his staff that he would have preferred to allow the Labour and TUC leaders to broadcast directly. A post-strike analysis carried out by the BBC's Programme Correspondence Department reported that of those polled, 3,696 commended the BBC's coverage, whilst 176 were critical.
Between the wars
Since 1927, there have been arguments over impartiality at the BBC. Prior to World War II, Sir John Reith, in breach of his public duties and obligations, excluded Winston Churchill from the BBC airwaves. In 1927, under a Royal Charter, the BBC became a public entity for the first time – with requirements including the need for impartiality and for staff not to express opinions on controversial subject matters.
1960s and 1970s
Mary Whitehouse launched her 'Clean Up TV campaign' in April 1964. In her view Hugh Greene as BBC Director General was "more than anybody else ... responsible for the moral collapse in this country." The campaign of Whitehouse and her supporters soon became the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association; Mrs Whitehouse was opposed to the policies of liberalisation pursued by Greene.
The War Game (1965) was a television film commissioned by the BBC, but not broadcast until 1986. John Pilger has argued that the BBC's power to prevent "the truth" being broadcast, as represented by Peter Watkins's film, has made "the state broadcaster [into] a cornerstone of Britain’s ruling elite".
The Thatcher government
Accusations of a left-wing bias were often made against the Corporation by members of Margaret Thatcher's 1980s Conservative government. Norman Tebbit called the BBC the "Stateless Person's Broadcasting Corporation" because of what he regarded as its unpatriotic and neutral coverage of the Falklands War, and Conservative MP Peter Bruinvels called it the "Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation." Steve Barnett noted in The Observer that "back in 1980, George Howard, the hunting, shooting and fishing aristocratic pal of Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw, was appointed [BBC chairman] because Margaret Thatcher couldn't abide the thought of distinguished Liberal Mark Bonham-Carter being promoted from vice-chairman. "Then there was Stuart Young, accountant and brother of one of Thatcher's staunchest cabinet allies, who succeeded Howard in 1983. He was followed in 1986 by Marmaduke Hussey, brother-in-law of another Cabinet Minister who was plucked from the obscurity of a directorship at Rupert Murdoch's Times Newspapers. According to Norman Tebbit, then Tory party chairman, Hussey was appointed 'to get in there and sort the place out, and in days not months.'"
Controversies continued with the likes of the Nationwide general election special with Thatcher in 1983, a Panorama documentary called Maggie's Militant Tendency, the Real Lives interview with Martin McGuinness, the BBC's coverage of the United States' 1986 Bombing of Libya and the Zircon affair. In 1987 Director-General of the BBC Alasdair Milne was forced to resign. Thatcher later said: "I have fought three elections against the BBC and don't want to fight another against it."[unreliable source?] In 2006 Tebbit said: "The BBC was always against Lady Thatcher."
Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC admitted in 2010 "In the BBC I joined 30 years ago [as a production trainee, in 1979], there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left. The organisation did struggle then with impartiality." 
BBC News forms a major department of the Corporation, and receives many complaints of bias. Some people have criticised the BBC for being part of The Establishment. The Centre for Policy Studies – a right-wing think tank – has stated that, "Since at least the mid-1980s, the Corporation has often been criticised for a perceived bias against those on the centre-right of politics." Similar allegations have been made by past and present employees such as Antony Jay, North American editor Justin Webb, former editor of the Today programme Rod Liddle, former correspondent Robin Aitken and Peter Sissons, a veteran news anchorman.
Former political editor Andrew Marr has argued that the liberal bias of the BBC is the product of the types of people the Corporation employs, and is thus cultural not political. In 2011, Peter Oborne wrote, "Rather than representing the nation as a whole, it [the BBC] has become a vital resource – and sometimes attack weapon – for a narrow, arrogant Left-Liberal elite".
Speaking to journalists at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch in 2009, Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, claimed that BBC News needed more Conservatives: "I wish they would go and actively look for some Conservatives to be part of their news-gathering team, because they have acknowledged that one of their problems is that people who want to work at the Corporation tend to be from the centre-left. That's why they have this issue with what Andrew Marr called an innate liberal bias." The commentator Mehdi Hasan though, has pointed out the right-wing backgrounds of many BBC presenters and journalists, querying why even many "liberals and leftists" accept the right's description of BBC bias.
On Friday 22 September 2006 the BBC's Board of Governors held an impartiality seminar which was streamed live on the Internet. The previous day the then Chairman of the Governors, Michael Grade, explained the thinking behind the seminar in an article in The Guardian newspaper. He also announced in the same article that a live stream of the seminar would be available on the BBC Governors' website. The stream was only available live and was not publicised on the main BBC or BBC News websites, causing some media reports, including in The Mail on Sunday, to claim that it was "secret". The full transcript of the seminar was released in June 2007 after pressure from both the public and the media.
In the seminar there was a hypothetical discussion including senior BBC executives about what they would allow controversial Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen to throw into a dustbin on the satirical television show Room 101. It was imagined that Baron Cohen would wish to throw into Room 101 kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Quran, and the Bible. Most at the summit agreed that all would be permissible – except for the Quran. There was also a hypothetical discussion about whether a Muslim BBC newsreader should be allowed to wear a veil.
In the seminar former BBC business editor Jeff Randall claimed he was told by a senior news executive in the organisation that "The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it." The Daily Mail claimed in 2006 that Andrew Marr stated, "The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias".
These comments were reported in the UK national press a couple of weeks later. At the seminar Helen Boaden (Director of BBC News) said that the BBC must be impartial on the issue of multiculturalism. Boaden responded to press criticism of the seminar in a post on the BBC's Editors' Blog. Mark Thompson responded to press criticism in an article in the Daily Mail, as did Mark Byford in an interview in The Sunday Telegraph.
The BBC has also been accused of racism. In a speech to the Royal Television Society in 2008, Lenny Henry said that ethnic minorities were "pitifully underserved" in television comedy and that little had changed at senior levels in terms of ethnic representation during his 32 years in television. Jimmy McGovern in a 2007 interview called the BBC "one of the most racist institutions in England".
In 2001, BBC director-general Greg Dyke admitted that the BBC was "hideously white", and acknowledged difficulties with "race relations". He acknowledged that it was having difficulties in retaining minority staff and outlined plans towards solving these problems.
Others argue that the BBC is biased against the white population in its output, for example being reluctant to report racist murders perpetrated by ethnic minorities such as the murder of Ross Parker, and the murder of Kriss Donald. The BBC later acknowledged it was "a mistake not to report the case of Ross Parker more extensively" noting that "by any standards [...] it was worthy of coverage". Similarly, the organisation agreed it "got it wrong" in relation to its coverage of the Donald case.
The BBC is striving for 12.5% of its staff to be from a black or minority ethnic background (12% at 31 January 2009).[not in citation given] This is over 4% higher than the current percentage of ethnic minorities in the UK as a whole, though the BBC is largely based in urban areas with a more diverse demography. However, it has been argued that many of its ethnic minority members of staff are cleaners and security guards and not presenters and programme makers.
The Independent, a British morning newspaper, has accused the BBC of being "institutionally homophobic" towards the LGBT community after an investigation by the University of Leeds found 80% of portrayals by the BBC of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender ('LGBT') were negative and accounted for just 0.4% of output. Focus groups[which?] accused the BBC of being the worst broadcaster in terms of gay and lesbian issues and their portrayal of them.
Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century
A report commissioned by the BBC Trust, Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century, published in June 2007, stressed that the BBC needed to take more care in being impartial. It said the BBC broke its own guidelines by screening an episode of The Vicar of Dibley that promoted the Make Poverty History campaign. The bias was explained as the result of the BBC's liberal culture. A transcript of the impartiality seminar is included as a separately published appendix to the report available via the BBC Trust.
After press reports emerged that BBC employees had edited the Wikipedia article's coverage of the report, the BBC issued new guidelines banning BBC staff from "sanitising" Wikipedia articles about the BBC.
Immigration and the European Union
In July 2013, a report commissioned by the BBC Trust found that the organisation had been slow to reflect widespread public concerns about immigration to the UK, and shifts in public attitudes within the UK towards the European Union. The report, by Stuart Prebble, stated that Helen Boaden, the former director of BBC News, had said that when she arrived at the organisation there had been a "deep liberal bias" in the handling of immigration issues. It also stated that, within the BBC, "the agenda of debate is probably too driven by the views of politicians", but that "overall the breadth of opinion reflected by the BBC on this subject is broad and impressive, and no persuasive evidence was found that significant areas of opinion are not given due weight today." It also stated that the BBC was "slow to give appropriate prominence to the growing weight of opinion opposing UK membership of the EU, but in more recent times has achieved a better balance".
Criticism of the BBC's Middle East coverage from supporters of both Israel and Palestine led the BBC to commission an investigation and report from a senior broadcast journalist Malcolm Balen, referred to as the Balen Report and completed in 2004. The BBC's refusal to release the report under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 resulted in a long-running and ongoing legal case. This led to speculation that the report was damning, as well as to accusations of hypocrisy, as the BBC frequently made use itself of Freedom of Information Act requests when researching news stories.
After the Balen report, the BBC appointed a committee chosen by the Governors and referred to by the BBC as an "independent panel report" to write a report for publication which was completed in 2006. Chaired by the British Board of Film Classification president, Sir Quentin Thomas, the committee found that "apart from individual lapses, there was little to suggest deliberate or systematic bias" in the BBC's reporting of the middle east. However, their coverage had been "inconsistent," "not always providing a complete picture" and "misleading", and that the BBC failed to adequately report the hardships of Palestinians living under occupation. Reflecting concerns from all sides of the conflict, the committee highlighted certain identifiable shortcomings and made four recommendations, including the provision of a stronger editorial "guiding hand".
Of the report's findings regarding the dearth of BBC reporting of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians, Richard Ingrams wrote in The Independent that “No sensible person could quarrel with that judgement.” Martin Walker, then the editor of United Press International, agreed that the report implied favouritism towards Israel, but said this suggestion "produced mocking guffaws in my newsroom" and went on to list a number of episodes of (in his view) clear pro-Palestinian bias on the part of the BBC. Writing in Prospect Magazine, Conservative MP Michael Gove wrote that the report was neither independent nor objective.
Former BBC Middle East correspondent Tim Llewellyn wrote in 2004 that the BBC's coverage allowed an Israeli view of the conflict to dominate, as demonstrated by research conducted by the Glasgow Media Group.
In the course of their "Documentary Campaign 2000–2004," Trevor Asserson, Cassie Williams and Lee Kern of BBCWatch published a series of reports The BBC And The Middle East stating in their opinion that "the BBC consistently fails to adhere to its legal obligations to produce impartial and accurate reporting."
Douglas Davis, the London correspondent of The Jerusalem Post, has accused the BBC of being anti-Israel. He wrote that the BBC's coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict was a "portrayal of Israel as a demonic, criminal state and Israelis as brutal oppressors" and resembled a "campaign of vilification" that had de-legitimised the State of Israel. "Anglicans for Israel", the pro-Israel pressure group, have berated the BBC for apparent anti-Israel bias.
The Daily Telegraph has criticised the BBC for its coverage of the Middle East. In 2007, the newspaper wrote, "In its international and domestic news reporting, the corporation has consistently come across as naïve and partial, rather than sensitive and unbiased. Its reporting of Israel and Palestine, in particular, tends to underplay the hate-filled Islamist ideology that inspires Hamas and other factions, while never giving Israel the benefit of the doubt."
In April 2004, Natan Sharansky who was then Israel's minister for diaspora affairs wrote to the BBC accusing its Middle East correspondent, Orla Guerin, as having a "deep-seated bias against Israel" following her description of the Israeli army's handling of the arrest of Hussam Abdu, who was captured with explosives strapped to his chest, as "cynical manipulation of a Palestinian youngster for propaganda purposes."
In March 2006 a report about the Arab-Israeli conflict on the BBC's online service was criticised in a BBC Governors Report as unbalanced and creating a biased impression. The article's account of a 1967 United Nations resolution about the six-day war between Israel and a coalition of Egypt, Jordan and Syria suggested the UN called for Israel's unilateral withdrawal from territories seized during the six-day war, when in fact, it called for a negotiated "land for peace" settlement between Israel and "every state in the area". The committee considered that by selecting only references to Israel, the article had breached editorial standards on both accuracy and impartiality".
On 7 March 2008, news anchor Geeta Guru-Murthy clarified significant errors in the BBC's coverage of the Mercaz HaRav massacre that had been exposed by media monitor Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Correspondent Nick Miles had informed viewers that "hours after the attack, Israeli bulldozers destroyed his [the perpetrator's] family home." This was not the case and other broadcasters showed the east Jerusalem home to be intact and the family commemorating their son's actions.
On 14 March 2008, the BBC accepted that in an article on their website of an IDF operation that stated "The Israeli air force said it was targeting a rocket firing team... UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Israel's attacks on Palestinian civilians, calling them inappropriate and disproportionate", they should have made reference to what [Ban] said about Palestinian rocket attacks as well as to the excessive use of force by Israel. The article was additionally amended to remove the reference of Israeli 'attacks on civilians' as Ban Ki-Moon's attributed comments were made weeks earlier to the UN Security Council, and not in reference to that particular attack, and in fact, he had never used such terminology.
The BBC received intense criticism in January 2009 for its decision not to broadcast a television appeal by aid agencies on behalf of the people of Gaza during the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, on the grounds that it could compromise the BBC's journalistic impartiality. A number of protesters asserted that this showed pro-Israeli bias, while some analysts suggested that the BBC's decision in this matter derived from its concern to avoid anti-Israeli bias as analysed in the Balen report. Parties criticising the decision, included Church of England archbishops, British government ministers and even some BBC employees. More than 11,000 complaints were filed in a three-day span. The BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson, explained that the corporation had a duty to cover the Gaza dispute in a “balanced, objective way,“ and was concerned about endorsing something that could "suggest the backing one side”
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, protested the BBC's decision by cancelling interviews scheduled with the company; ElBaradei claimed the refusal to air the aid appeal "violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong." The BBC's chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson, affirmed the need to broadcast "without affecting and impinging on the audience's perception of our impartiality" and that in this case, it was a "real issue."
In response to perceived falsehoods and distortions in a BBC One’s Panorama documentary entitled ‘A Walk in the Park', transmitted in January 2010, British journalist Melanie Phillips penned an open letter in news magazine The Spectator to the Secretary of State for Culture, Jeremy Hunt, accusing the BBC of "flagrantly biased reporting of Israel" and urged the BBC to confront the "prejudice and inertia which are combining to turn its reporting on Israel into crude pro-Arab propaganda, and thus risk destroying the integrity of an institution."
In March 2011, Member of Parliament Louise Bagshawe criticised the inaccuracies and omissions in BBC's coverage of the Itamar massacre and questioned the BBC's decision not to broadcast this incident on television and barely on radio, and its apparent bias against Israel. In his July 2012 testimony to the Parliament, the outgoing Director-General of the BBC Mark Thompson admitted that BBC "got it wrong".
A BBC Editorial Standards Findings issued in July 2011 found that a broadcast on Today on 27 September 2010 that stated "“At midnight last night, the moratorium on Israelis building new settlements in the West Bank came to an end. It had lasted for ten months", had breached the Accuracy guideline in respect of the requirement to present output “in clear, precise language”, as in fact the moratorium on building new settlements had been in existence since the early 1990s and remained in place.
More controversy was caused in April 2012 when the BBC broadcast news of 2,500 Palestinian prisoners who were on hunger strike, with very little overall coverage. This resulted in two protests outside the BBC buildings in Glasgow[unreliable source?] and in London.[unreliable source?]
During the 2012 Olympics, on their country profiles pages, the BBC listed "East Jerusalem" as the capital of Palestine, and did not list a capital at all for Israel. After public outrage and a letter from Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev, the BBC listed a "Seat of Government" for Israel in Jerusalem, while adding that most foreign embassies "are in Tel Aviv". It made a parallel change to the listing for "Palestine", listing "East Jerusalem" as the "Intended seat of government".
In a response to a reader's criticism on the issue, the BBC replied that the complaints that prompted the changes were “generated by online lobby activity." The BBC was also noted for having no coverage whatsoever about the campaign[unreliable source?] for the IOC to commemorate the 11 killed Israeli athletes from the Munich massacre in the 1972 Summer Olympics, which was met with repeated refusal by IOC President Jacques Rogge, despite the issue receiving much press by other major news networks.
According to the poll conducted by Jewish Policy Research on more than 4,000 respondents, nearly 80% of British Jews believes that BBC is biased against Israel. Only 14% of British Jews believes that BBC coverage of Israel is "balanced".
In 2013, the BBC scheduled to broadcast a documentary film, Jerusalem: an Archaeological Mystery Story, but pulled the film "off the schedule at the last minute." The film "theorizes that many Jews did not leave Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple, and that many modern-day Palestinians may be in part descended from those Jews." Simon Plosker of HonestReporting believed that the decision was made not to offend people who are ideologically opposed to Israel by broadcasting a documentary about Jewish history in the region. The BBC's explanation for the sudden schedule change was that the film did not fit with the theme of the season, which was archeology.
Iraq and the Hutton Inquiry
The BBC was criticised for its coverage of the events before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003. The controversy over what it described as the "sexing up" of the case for war in Iraq by the government, led to the BBC being heavily criticised by the Hutton Inquiry, although this finding was much disputed by the British press, who branded it as a government whitewash.
The BBC's chairman and director general both resigned following the inquiry, and its vice-chairman Lord Ryder made a public apology to the government – which the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker MP described as "of such capitulation that I wanted to throw up when I heard it".
2006 Lebanon War
During the 2006 Lebanon War, Israeli diplomatic officials boycotted BBC news programmes, refused interviews, and excluded BBC reporters from briefings because Israeli officials believed the BBC's reporting was biased, stating "the reports we see give the impression that the BBC is working on behalf of Hezbollah instead of doing fair journalism." Francesca Unsworth, head of BBC News gathering, defended the coverage in an article for Jewish News.com.
The Balen Report
The BBC is seeking to overturn a ruling by the Information Tribunal rejecting the BBC's refusal to release the Balen report to a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act on the grounds that it was held for the purposes of journalism. The report examines BBC radio and television broadcasts covering the Arab-Israeli conflict and was compiled in 2004 by Malcolm Balen, a senior editorial adviser.
Critics of the BBC claimed that the Balen Report includes evidence of bias against Israel in news programming. For examples, on 10 October 2006, the Daily Telegraph claimed that "The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage. The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism. The action will increase suspicions that the report, which is believed to run to 20,000 words, includes evidence of anti-Israeli bias in news programming."
It has been alleged that the corporation paid £200,000 for this legal action. The Daily Mail called the BBC's blocking a Freedom of Information Act request "shameful hypocrisy", in light of the corporation's previous extensive use of Freedom of Information Act requests in its journalism.
On 27 April 2007 the High Court rejected Mr Steven Sugar's challenge to the Information Commissioner's decision. However, on 11 February 2009 the House of Lords (the UK's highest court) reinstated the Information Tribunal's decision to allow Sugar's appeal against the Information Commissioner's decision.
The BBC's press release following the High Court judgment included the following statement:
"The BBC's action in this case had nothing to do with the fact that the Balen report was about the Middle East – the same approach would have been taken whatever area of news output was covered."
Sugar was reported after his success in the House of Lords as saying:
"It is sad that the BBC felt it necessary to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money fighting for three years to try to load the system against those requesting information from it. I am very pleased that the House of Lords has ruled that such obvious unfairness is not the result of the Act."
Barbara Plett's tears for Yasser Arafat
During the BBC programme From Our Own Correspondent broadcast on 30 October 2004, Plett described herself crying when she saw a frail Yasser Arafat being evacuated to France for medical treatment. This led to "hundreds of complaints" to the BBC, and suggestions that the BBC was biased. Andrew Dismore, the MP for Hendon, accused Plett of "sloppy journalism", and commented that "this shows the inherent bias of the BBC against Israel." In response to Plett's report, Lord Janner, the Labour peer, lamented, "We should shed tears for those who suffer... because of Arafat's intifada... this sort of coverage is exactly what we have come to expect from the BBC."
BBC News defended Plett in a statement saying that her reporting had met the high standards of "fairness, accuracy and balance" expected of a BBC correspondent. Initially, a complaint of bias against Plett was rejected by the BBC's head of editorial complaints. However, almost a year later, on 25 November 2005, the programme complaints committee of the BBC governors partially upheld the complaints, ruling that Plett’s comments “breached the requirements of due impartiality”. Despite initially issuing a statement in support of Plett, the BBC director of news Helen Boaden later apologised for what she described as "an editorial misjudgment". The governors praised Boaden's speedy response and reviewed the BBC's stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In April 2009, the Editorial Standards Committee of the BBC Trust published a report on three complaints brought against two news items involving Jeremy Bowen, the Middle East Editor for BBC News. The complaints included 24 allegations of inaccuracy or impartiality of which three were fully or partially upheld. The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee found that Bowen's radio piece "had stated his professional view without qualification or explanation, and that the lack of precision in his language had rendered the statement inaccurate". They opined that the online article should have explained the existence of alternative views and that it breached the rules of impartiality. However, the report did not accuse Bowen of bias. The website article was amended and Bowen did not face any disciplinary measures.
Hindu and Sikh leaders in the United Kingdom have accused the BBC of pandering to Britain's Muslim community by making a disproportionate number of programmes on Islam at the expense of covering other Asian religions.
In a letter sent in July to the Network of Sikh Organizations (NSO), the head of the BBC's Religion and Ethics, Michael Wakelin, denied any biases on their part. A spokesman for the BBC said the broadcaster was committed to representing all of Britain's faiths and communities.
However, a number of MPs, including Rob Marris and Keith Vaz, called on the BBC to do more to represent Britain's minority faiths. "I am disappointed," said Vaz. "It is only right that as licence fee payers all faiths are represented in a way that mirrors their make-up in society. I hope that the BBC addresses the problem in its next year of programming."
Muslim employees of the BBC in the United Kingdom have accused the BBC of operating an anti-Muslim policy by sidelining or sacking a disproportionate number of Muslims at its digital radio station Asian Network. They also asked that the station play more music from Pakistan and Bangladesh in addition to the Bollywood and bhangra music that is more popular with the Hindu and Sikh communities.
A survey by Consumer PI found British Muslims perceive BBC TV news (as well as TV news from Sky and ITV) to be biased against their religion. Shakir Ahmed, director of Passion Islam Media said this perception may well fuel radicalism.
The overly positive coverage by BBC of the Arab Spring was criticised both from within and outside of the corporation. In June 2012, the head of news Helen Boaden admitted that the coverage was "over-excited". She attributed this to reporters embedded with the rebels, who produced reports which are "too emotive" and "veering into opinion".
In June 2012, the BBC admitted making "major errors" in its coverage of the unrest. In an 89-page report, 9 pages were devoted to the BBC's coverage of Bahrain and included admissions that the BBC had "underplayed the sectarian aspect of the conflict" and "not adequately convey the viewpoint of supporters of the monarchy" by "[failing] to mention attempts by Crown Prince" Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to "establish dialogue with the opposition". The report added that "the government appears to have made a good-faith effort to de-escalate the crisis" in particular during a period when the BBC's coverage of the unrest dropped substantially and that many people had complained that their coverage was "utterly one-sided".
In 2008, the BBC was criticised by some for referring to the men who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as "gunmen" rather than "terrorists". This follows a steady stream of complaints from India that the BBC has an Indophobic bias that stems from a culturally ingrained racism against Indians arising from the British Raj. Rediff reporter Arindam Banerji has chronicled what he argues are numerous cases of Indophobic bias from the BBC regarding reportage, selection bias, misrepresentation, and fabrications.
In protest against the use of the word "gunmen" by the BBC, journalist Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar refused to take part in an interview following the Mumbai terror attacks, and criticised the BBC's reportage of the incident. British parliamentarian Stephen Pound has supported these claims, referring to the BBC's whitewashing of the terror attacks as "the worst sort of mealy mouthed posturing. It is desperation to avoid causing offence which ultimately causes more offence to everyone."
Writing for The Hindu Business Line, reporter Premen Addy criticises the BBC's reportage on South Asia as consistently anti-India and pro-Islamist, and that they underreport India's economic and social achievements, as well as political and diplomatic efforts, and disproportionately highlight and exaggerate problems in the country. In addition, Addy alludes to discrimination against Indian anchors and reporters in favour of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ones who are hostile to India.
Writing for the 2008 edition of the peer-reviewed Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Alasdair Pinkerton analyses the coverage of India by the BBC since India's independence from British rule in 1947 until 2008. Pinkerton observes a tumultuous history involving allegations of anti-India bias in the BBC's reportage, particularly during the cold war, and concludes that the BBC's coverage of South Asian geopolitics and economics shows a pervasive and hostile anti-India bias due to the BBC's alleged imperialist and neo-colonialist stance.
In 2005, the Vivekananda Centre London and the Hindu Council(UK) reported an institutional anti Hindu bias and stated that "Anything that may show Hinduism in a poor light is immediately picked up by the BBC programme makers, while anything that may show Hinduism in a glorious light remains ignored by the BBC."
In March 2012, the BBC referred to the Hindu festival of Holi as "filthy festival". The Webster new world dictionary defines "filthy" as "full of filth, disgustingly foul; grossly obscene; morally vicious or corrupt". The BBC has since apologised for the offence caused.
In 2009, the BBC angered Sikhs for "being insensitive towards Sikhs and encouraging a Muslim presenter to mock Sikhism." BBC rejected the charge, but deleted the show from their website.
In October 2006, Chief Radio Correspondent for BBC News since 2001 and Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to "correct" it in his reports, and that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it "no moral weight".
In April 2007, Webb presented a three-part series for BBC Radio 4 called Death To America: Anti Americanism Examined in which he challenged a common perception of the United States as an international bully and a modern day imperial power.
John Redwood's deregulation proposals
The BBC has been criticised for the way it covered Conservative MP John Redwood's policy group's deregulation proposals. Prominent political blogger Iain Dale criticised the organisation for leading news reports with the Labour Party's response to the proposals, rather than the proposals themselves, and claimed the BBC was "doing Labour's dirty work".[unreliable source?] The BBC denied the charge.
British newspaper The Sun also alleged the BBC reports showed bias, criticising the organisation for including embarrassing footage of John Redwood badly singing the Welsh national anthem from the early 1990s. The paper argued that the coverage "was a mockery of impartial journalism" and "could have been scripted by Labour ministers". The BBC later apologised, but denied showing bias.
Secret Agent documentary
On Thursday 15 July 2004 the BBC broadcast a documentary on the far right British National Party where undercover reporter Jason Gwynne infiltrated the BNP by posing as a football hooligan. The programme resulted in Mark Collett and Nick Griffin, the leader of the party, being charged for inciting racial hatred in April 2005, for statements which included Griffin describing Islam as a "wicked, vicious faith," Collett describing asylum seekers as "a little bit like cockroaches" and saying "let's show these ethnics the door in 2004." Griffin and Collett were found not guilty on some charges at the first trial in January 2006, but the jury failed to reach a verdict on the others, so a retrial was ordered.
At the retrial held in November 2006 all of the defendants were found not guilty on the basis that the law at the time did not consider those who follow Islam or Christianity to be a protected group with respect to racial defamation laws. Shortly after this case, British law was amended to outlaw incitement to hatred against a religious group (see Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006).
The BNP believe this was an attempt to "Discredit the British National Party as a party of opposition to the Labour government."
After the second trial, Nick Griffin described the BBC as a "Politically correct, politically biased organisation which has wasted licence-fee payers' money to bring two people in a legal, democratic, peaceful party to court over speaking nothing more than the truth."
Jerry Springer: The Opera
In January 2005, the BBC aired Jerry Springer: The Opera, ultimately resulting in around 55,000 complaints to the BBC from those upset at the opera's alleged blasphemies against the Christian religion. In advance of the broadcast, which the BBC had warned "contains language and content which won't be to some tastes" mediawatch-uk's director John Beyer wrote to the Director General urging the BBC to drop the programme, saying "Licence fee payers do not expect the BBC to be pushing back boundaries of taste and decency in this way." The BBC issued a statement saying: "As a public service broadcaster, it is the BBC's role to broadcast a range of programmes that will appeal to all audiences – with very differing tastes and interests – present in the UK today."
Before the broadcast, some 150 people bearing placards protested outside the BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush. On the Monday following the broadcast, which was watched by some two million viewers, The Times announced that BBC executives had received death threats after their addresses and telephone numbers were posted on the Christian Voice website. The Corporation had received some 35,000 complaints before the broadcast, but reported only 350 calls following the broadcast, which were split between those praising the production and those complaining about it.
In March 2005, the BBC's Board of Governors convened and considered the complaints, which they rejected by a majority of 4 to 1. The subsequent refusal of the BBC to reproduce the actual Muhammad cartoons in its coverage of the controversy concerning them convinced many that the BBC follows an unstated policy of freely broadcasting defamation of Christianity which it would not allow in the case of any other religion.
The BBC has been criticised for hypocrisy over its high carbon footprint, in view of the amount of coverage it gives to the topic of climate change. Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman argues that the Corporation's correspondents "travel the globe to tell the audience of the dangers of climate change while leaving a vapour trail which will make the problem even worse". Paxman further argues that the 'BBC's coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago'.
At the 2007 Edinburgh International Television Festival, Peter Horrocks (Head of TV News) and Peter Barron (Editor, Newsnight), said that the BBC should not campaign on the issue of climate change. They criticised proposed plans for a BBC Comic Relief-style day of programmes around climate change. Horrocks was quoted as saying: "I absolutely don't think we should do that because it's not impartial. It's not our job to lead people and proselytise about it."
Peter Barron was quoted as adding: "It is absolutely not the BBC's job to save the planet. I think there are a lot of people who think that, but it must be stopped."
Peter Horrocks later outlined the BBC's position on the BBC Editors Blog ("No Line").
The plans for a day of programmes about environmental issues were abandoned in September 2007. A BBC spokesperson said this was "absolutely not" because of concerns about impartiality.
In July 2011 a BBC Trust review cited findings of an assessment by Professor Steve Jones of University College London. Jones found there was an at times “over-rigid” application of the Editorial Guidelines on impartiality in relation to science coverage, which failed to take into account what he regarded as the “non-contentious” nature of some stories and the need to avoid giving “undue attention to marginal opinion”. Professor Jones gave reporting of the safety of the MMR vaccine and more recent coverage of claims about the safety of GM crops and the existence of man made climate change as examples of his point.
The BBC has equally been criticised for giving an equal platform for climate change deniers in the name of impartiality.
The BBC attempted for six years to “cover up” a climate change seminar credited with shaping its coverage of the environment.
The BBC has also been criticised for recycling old news and for "insensitivity" and bad timing when it decided to broadcast programmes called Kenyon Confronts and Sex and the Holy City around the same time as Pope John Paul II's 25th anniversary and the beatification of Mother Teresa.
In 2003, the BBC had planned Popetown, a ten-part cartoon series which "featured an infantile Pope [...] bouncing around the Vatican on a pogostick". The plans were shelved after it evoked intense outrage and criticism from Roman Catholics.
Documentary on Euro 2012
Eleven days before the tournament took place, the BBC current affairs programme Panorama, entitled Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate, included recent footage of supporters chanting various racist slogans and displays of white power symbols and banners in Poland, and Nazi salutes and the beating of South Asians in Ukraine. The documentary was first commented widely in the British press, but then accused of being one-sided, biased and unethical. Critics included the British media; anti-racism campaigners, and black and Jewish community leaders in Poland; Polish and Ukrainian politicians and journalists; England fans visiting the host nations and footballers (Gary Lineker, Roy Hodgson and others). Jonathan Ornstein, the leader of Jewish community in Kraków, a Jewish source used in the documentary said: "I am furious at the way the BBC has exploited me as a source. The organization used me and others to manipulate the serious subject of anti-Semitism for its own sensationalist agenda... the BBC knowingly cheated its own audience - the British people - by concocting a false horror story about Poland. In doing so, the BBC has spread fear, ignorance, prejudice and hatred. I am profoundly disturbed by this unethical form of journalism."
A reporter from Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's biggest left-wing newspaper, questioned Panorama's practices and said: "I am becoming more and more surprised with what the BBC says. So far it has denied two situations I witnessed. I would not be surprised if the BBC prepared a statement saying that the Panorama crew has never been to Poland."
An anti-racism campaigner Jacek Purski said: "The material prepared by the BBC is one-sided. It does not show the whole story of Polish preparations for the Euros. It does not show the Championship ran a lot of activities aimed at combating racism in the "Respect Diversity" campaign. For us the Euro is not only about matches. The event has become an opportunity to fight effectively against racism and promote multiculturalism. There is no country in Europe free from racism. These are the facts."
The nations fined by UEFA for racism were not the hosts but the visitors from Spain, Croatia, Russia and Germany. The Royal Dutch Football Association issued a complaint to UEFA after monkey chants were thought to be aimed at their black players, during an open training session in Kraków. UEFA denied the chants were racially motivated.
Sexual abuse scandals and their implications
In the weeks after the ITV1 documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile was broadcast on 3 October 2012, the BBC faced questions and criticism over allegations that it had failed to act on rumours about sexual assaults, especially on young girls, by presenter Jimmy Savile, some of which had occurred on BBC premises after the recording of programmes including Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It. Allegations were also made that a Newsnight investigation into Savile in December 2011 was dropped because it conflicted with tribute programmes prepared after Savile's death.
By 11 October 2012 allegations of abuse by Savile had been made to 13 British police forces, and on 19 October Scotland Yard launched a formal criminal investigation into historic allegations of child sex abuse by Savile and others over four decades. The police reported on 25 October 2012 that the number of possible victims was 300.
It was claimed that Douglas Muggeridge, the controller of Radio 1 in the early 1970s, was aware of allegations against Savile, and had asked for a report on them in 1973. The BBC stated that no evidence of any allegations of misconduct, or of actual misconduct by Savile, had been found in its files and later denied that there had been a cover-up of Savile's activities. However, there were claims by some, including DJ Liz Kershaw, that during the 1980s there was a culture within the BBC which tolerated sexual harassment.
The BBC was criticised in Parliament for its handling of the affair, with Harriet Harman stating that the allegations "cast a stain" on the corporation. The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said that she was satisfied that the BBC was taking the allegations very seriously, and dismissed calls for an independent inquiry. Labour leader Ed Miliband said that an independent inquiry was the only way to ensure justice for those involved. George Entwistle offered to appear before the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee to explain the BBC's position and actions.
On 16 October the BBC appointed the heads of two separate inquiries into events surrounding Savile. Former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith, who led the inquiry into serial killer Harold Shipman, will review the culture and practices of the BBC during the time Savile worked there, while Nick Pollard, a former Sky News executive, will look at why a Newsnight investigation into Savile's activities was dropped shortly before transmission.
A Panorama investigation was broadcast on 22 October 2012. The Director-General of the BBC, George Entwistle, declined to be interviewed, citing legal advice that BBC senior management should co-operate only with the police, the BBC's reviews and Parliament. On the same day the BBC announced that Newsnight editor Peter Rippon would "step aside" from his position with immediate effect. On 23 October, Entwistle appeared before the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee, at which he faced hostile questioning and stated that it had been a "catastrophic mistake" to cancel the Newsnight broadcast.
In the context of the Savile scandal, it was noted that a book written in 1999 by journalist John Simpson, Strange Places, Questionable People, had referred to an "Uncle Dick" at the BBC who had sexually assaulted children, and who appeared to fit the profile of BBC announcer Derek McCulloch. Author Andrew O'Hagan wrote that there had long been rumours about McCulloch's activities, and those of his colleague Lionel Gamlin, while working at the BBC in the 1940s and 1950s. The BBC said that they would "look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review." McCulloch's family described the allegations as "complete rubbish".
Newsnight broadcast, on 2 November 2012, a report making allegations against, but not naming, a "prominent Thatcher era Conservative politician" in relation to the North Wales child abuse scandal. However, this story collapsed after The Guardian reported on 8 November a case of mistaken identity, and the next day the victim retracted the allegation. An apology was included in Newsnight on 9 November, and all ongoing Newsnight investigations were suspended. George Entwistle stated that he was unaware of the content of the report before it was broadcast and stated that Newsnight staff involved in the broadcast could be disciplined. However, Entwistle himself resigned on 10 November, after facing further criticism in the media. The Director of BBC Scotland, Ken MacQuarrie, investigated the circumstances around the Newsnight programme. His findings were published on 12 November, and concluded that there had been "a lack of clarity around the senior editorial chain of command" and that "some of the basic journalistic checks were not completed."
Nick Pollard's report into the shelving of a Newsnight report on Savile in 2011 was published in December 2012. It concluded that the decision to drop the original report was "flawed", but that it had not been done to protect programmes prepared as tributes to Savile. His report criticised George Entwistle for apparently failing to read emails warning him of Savile's "dark side", and stated that, after the allegations against Savile eventually became public, the BBC fell into a "level of chaos and confusion [that] was even greater than was apparent at the time".
On 20 December 2012, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee published criticism of payments made to Entwistle after he had resigned, stating that the £450,000 paid to him after 54 days in post - double the amount specified in his contract - together with a year's health insurance and additional payments, was a "cavalier" use of public money.
Primark and child labour
In 2011, after three years of Primark's effort, the BBC acknowledged that its award-winning investigative journalism report of Indian child labour use by the retailing giant was a fake. BBC apologized to Primark, to Indian suppliers and all its viewers.
The BBC has been criticised for 'overstaffing' news, sporting, and cultural events and in doing so both wasting licence fee money, and using their dominant position to control the coverage of events.
A 2010 House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report criticised the number of staff that the BBC had sent to sporting events such as the Beijing Olympics and the Euro 2008 football championships. In June 2011 the Corporation sent 263 staff to cover the Glastonbury Festival. The next month they sent 250 staff members to cover an event marking one year until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, ten times the numbers used by other broadcasters.
On 19 October 2011 the Liberal Democrats' culture spokesman Don Foster criticised the large number of BBC staff members who attended the eviction of travellers and their supporters from the illegal section of the Dale Farm site. Foster stated that it was 'ludicrous over staffing and hardly good way to get public sympathy for the 20 per cent budget cuts facing the BBC'. The BBC responded that they only had 20 staff members on site.
The recent rise of multi-channel digital television has led to criticism that the licence fee is unjustifiable on the basis that minority interest programmes can now be transmitted on specialist commercial channels and that the licence fee is funding a number of digital-only channels which many licence holders cannot watch (for example BBC Three and BBC Four). Since 24 October 2012, with the completion of the digital switchover all licence payers can now access this content.
On 17 August 2007 it was reported that FM broadcast of the BBC's Russian language service in Russia would be dropped, leaving only medium and short wave broadcasts in Russia. Financial organisation Finam, which owns the FM radio service now dropping the BBC Russia broadcasts, through its spokesman Igor Ermachenkov, said that "Any media which is government-financed is propaganda – it's a fact, it's not negative". A spokesman, for the BBC responded: "Although the BBC is funded by the UK government... a fundamental principle of its constitution and its regulatory regime is that it is editorially independent of the UK government." Reports put the development in the context of criticism of the Russian government for curbing media freedom and strained UK-Russian relations. Reporters Without Borders condemned the move as censorship.
Wales and Scotland coverage controversy
In August 2007, Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru MP, highlighted what he perceived as a lack of a Welsh focus on BBC news broadcasts. Price threatened to withhold future television licence fees in response to a lack of thorough news coverage of Wales, echoing a BBC Audience Council for Wales July report citing public frustration over how the Welsh Assembly is characterised in national media.
Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins agreed with Price and called for responsibility for broadcasting to be devolved to the Welsh Assembly, voicing similar calls from Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. Criticism of the BBC's news coverage for Wales and Scotland since devolution prompted debate of possibly providing evening news broadcasts with specific focus for both countries.
Scottish independence referendum
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has criticised the BBC for its poor coverage of the Scotland independence referendum. The BBC reportedly "downplayed the costs of referendum coverage, claiming it was a 'one off'".
Research by Dr John Robertson and a team at the University of the West of Scotland concluded that the BBC first year of referendum coverage (to September 2013) "has not been fair or balanced" Dr Robertson's team reported that the BBC coverage was biased towards the pro Unionist No campaign.
European Union coverage
The BBC has a “deep liberal bias” and has failed to reflect the public’s growing concerns about immigration and the European Union, Helen Boaden, the BBC’s former director of news admitted in July 2013.
'Off payroll' tax arrangements
In October 2012 a Public Accounts Committee (United Kingdom) report found that the BBC had 25,000 "off payroll" contracts – 13,000 for people who were on air. These contracts enable people to make their own arrangements to pay tax and national insurance, which could allow them to contribute less than employees on pay-as-you-earn tax (PAYE). In response the BBC said many of these were short-term contracts, but it was carrying out a detailed review of tax arrangements.
- Governing the BBC
- Dennis Barker "Mary Whitehouse: Self-appointed campaigner against the permissive society on television", The Guardian, 24 November 2001
- Pilger, John (22 November 2012). "As Gaza is savaged again, understanding the BBC’s role requires more than sentiment". New Statesman. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Linford, Paul (27 October 2008). "Where are they now?". Total Politics. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Barnett, Steven (23 September 2001). "Right man, right time, for all the right reasons". The Guardian.
- Aylett, Glenn. "BBC Under Fire – 80s Style". transdiffusion.org. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Cameron scolded over Ross show". BBC News Online. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- MacIntyre, James (2 September 2010). "Mark Thompson: "There was massive left-wing bias at the BBC"". New Statesman. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Gyngell, Kathy; Keighley, David. "BBC Bias? Two Short case Studies". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- "Confessions of a BBC liberal". The Times. 12 August 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.(subscription required)
- Walters, Simon (21 October 2006). "We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 24 January 2004.
- Liddle, Rod (12 March 2008). "The BBC White Season only shows how little Auntie has really changed". The Spectator.
- Aitken, Robin (2 February 2007). "What is the loneliest job in Britain? Being a Tory at the BBC". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Sissions, Peter (22 January 2011). "Left-wing bias? It's written through the BBC's very DNA, says Peter Sissons". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Oborne, Peter (27 October 2011). "Coming to the BBC, an everyday story of bias and falling standards". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- Holmwood, Leigh (24 September 2009). "BBC News needs more Tories, says shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Hasan, Mehdi (29 August 2009). "Bias and the Beeb". New Statesman.
- "Dyke in BBC 'conspiracy' claim". BBC News Online. 20 September 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Grade, Michael (21 September 2004). "The digital challenge". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- Boaden, Helen (24 October 2006). "Bias at the BBC?". BBC blogs. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Thompson, Mark (29 October 2006). "BBC closes door on newsreaders in Muslim veils". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- Hastings, Chris (30 October 2006). "BBC 'not crammed full of soft liberals' says deputy chief". Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2007.
- "TV is too white, Lenny Henry says". BBC News Online. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "TV's McGovern calls BBC 'racist'". BBC News Online. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Dyke: BBC is 'hideously white'". BBC News Online. 6 January 2001. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Williams, Jon (1 December 2005). "Questions of murder". BBC News Online. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "News Video". BBC News Online.
- "News Video". BBC News Online.
- "About the BBC – Policy on diversity and equal opportunities". BBC. Retrieved 24 January 2004.
- Hastings, Chris; Copping, Jasper (4 March 2007). "Black staff at the BBC are mainly cleaners and guards, says Ross". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Frith, Maxine (1 March 2006). "BBC accused of 'institutionalised homophobia'". The Independent. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century" (PDF). BBC Trust. June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "BBC 'must become more impartial'". BBC News Online. 18 June 2007.
- "BBC report damns its 'culture of bias'". The Times. 17 June 2007.
- "From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century". BBC Trust. 18 June 2007.
- Bingham, John (14 July 2011). "Official BBC Twitter rules tell staff: 'Don't do anything stupid'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- Prebble, Stuart (3 July 2013). "Trust review of the breadth of opinion reflected in the BBC's output". BBC Trust. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Mason, Rowena (3 July 2013). "BBC did not reflect public view on immigration because of 'deep liberal bias', says review". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Halliday, Josh (3 July 2013). "BBC had 'deep liberal bias' over immigration, says former news chief". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Lords rule Balen report was wrongly blocked under FoI Press Gazette 11 February 2009
- Timeline: The battle to make BBC publish Middle East coverage report The Guardian 11 February 2009
- Revoir, Paul (22 March 2007). "BBC pays £200,000 to 'cover up report on anti-Israel bias'". Daily Mail.
- Gibson, Owen (3 May 2006). "BBC's coverage of Israeli-Palestinian conflict 'misleading". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Byrne, Ciar (3 May 2006). "BBC is criticised for misleading coverage of Middle East". The Independent. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Ingrams, Richard (6 May 2006). "Richard Ingrams' Week: It doesn't take much to be branded anti-Semitic". The Independent.
- Walker, Martin (11 May 2006). "The BBC pro-Israeli? Is the Pope Jewish?". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 April 2011.(subscription required)
- Gove, Michael (25 June 2006) Bias at the Beeb Prospect.co.uk
- Llewellyn, Tim (20 June 2004). "The story TV news won't tell". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- "BBC Watch". BBC Watch. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Davis, Douglas. "Hatred in the air: the BBC, Israel and Anti-Semitism". in: Iganski, Paul & Kosmin, Barry. (eds) A New Anti-Semitism? Debating Judeophobia in 21st century Britain. Profile Books, 2003, p. 130.
- "Anti-Israel bias". anglicansforisrael.com.[dead link]
- Terror victims are BBC licence-payers, too 20 August 2007
- McGreal, Chris (1 April 2004). "BBC accused of bias against Israel". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2004.
- Dowell, Ben (8 March 2006). "BBC online censured for biased Israel story". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2006.
- Paul, Jonny (22 March 2008). "BBC admits inaccuracies in coverage". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- The secret report at heart of BBC’s Gaza paranoia Evening Standard 27 January 2009
- "BBC Assailed for Refusing to Carry Gaza Appeal." The New York Times, 26 January 2009. Retrieved on 28 January 2009.
- "IAEA head boycotts BBC over Gaza". BBC News. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
- "Protest over BBC Gaza appeal veto". BBC News. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 24 January 09.
- "An open letter to the Culture Secretary". The Spectator. 12 April 2011.
- Bagshawe, Louise (24 March 2011). "A family slaughtered in Israel – doesn't the BBC care?". Daily Telegraph.
- "BBC chief admits the network ‘got it wrong’ on Fogel murders". The Times of Israel. JTA. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Appeals to the Trust and other editorial issues considered by the Editorial Standards Committee". Editorial Standards Committee. Retrieved July 2011.
- Shackle, Samera (2 February 2012). "BBC defends decision to censor the word "Palestine"". New Statesman. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Garside, Juliette (13 May 2011). "BBC under fire for 'censoring' Palestine lyric". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Sherwood, Harriet (14 May 2012). "Palestinian prisoners end hunger strike". The Guardian.
- "BBC slammed for blanking historic hunger strike". Jews for Justice for Palestinians. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- weareallhanashalabi (18 April 2012). "Report on Glasgow’s BBC Occupation and "Karamah Hunger Strike" March". weareallhanashalabi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- palestinecampaign.org http://palestinecampaign.org/index7b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=24&Content_ID=2594
|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
- "UPDATE - Fight Over BBC Olympic Coverage Intensifies". HonestReporting. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Dysch, Marcus (25 July 2012). "BBC claims 'online lobby' generated complaints over refusal to identify Israel's capital". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Spitzer, Ankie; Romano, Ilana; Rockland, J. C. C. "Minute of Silence at the 2012 London Olympics". www.change.org. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Wilson, Stephen (21 July 2012). "Moment Of Silence For 1972 Munich Victims Denied". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Greene, Richard Allen (23 July 2012). "Olympics head rejects silence for Israeli victims". CNN. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Rocker, Simon (18 April 2013). "We think BBC news is biased against Israel — but watch it anyway". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "BBC slammed for pulling documentary on Jewish exodus from Jerusalem". Jewish Journal. JTA. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- BBC NewsWatch (22 December 2006). "Viewers most common complaints of 2006" (Video). Retrieved 21 January 2007.
- Lord Hutton. "Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr. David Kelly". Retrieved 11 November 2006.
- "UK press mauls Hutton 'whitewash'". CNN. 29 January 2004. Retrieved 11 November 2006.
- CNN: UK press mauls Hutton 'whitewash', 29 January 2004 (on the reaction of the British press to the final report)
- Baker, Norman: The Strange Death of David Kelly, London: Methuen, 2007
- Hoffman, Gil (10 August 2006). "Jerusalem Post article on BBC coverage of the Israel-Lebanon conflict". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "Totally Jewish response to Francesca Unsworth". Totallyjewish.com. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Herman, Michael (27 March 2007). "BBC asks court to block Israel report". The Times.(subscription required)
- McSmith, Andy (28 March 2007). "BBC fights to suppress internal report into allegations of bias against Israel". The Independent. Retrieved 24 January 2014.[dead link]
- "BBC mounts court fight to keep 'critical' report secret". 15 October 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2014.[not in citation given]
- Revoir, Paul (22 March 2007). "BBC pays £200,000 to 'cover up report on anti-Israel bias'". Daily Mail.[not in citation given]
- 'Balen report: BBC successful in High Court challenge' BBC Press Office 27 March 2007
- Hirsch, Afua (11 February 2009). "Lawyer hails Lords BBC Middle East report ruling as a victory". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Plett, Barbara (30 September 2004) "Yasser Arafat's unrelenting journey", BBC News, 30 October 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2006
- Hastings, Chris; Edwardes, Charlotte; Houreld, Katharine (7 November 2004). "Radio 4 broadcast under attack as corporation faces fresh accusations of failing to be impartial". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 04.
- Gibson, Owen (26 November 2005). "BBC bias complaint upheld". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2007.
- "Arafat report 'broke BBC rules']". BBC News Online. 25 November 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Gross, Tom (28 November 2005). "BBC sanctions reporter who cried for Arafat (& “Hitler” running in Fatah primaries)." Retrieved 30 December 2006.
- "Editorial Standards Findings" (PDF). Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Antony Lerman, The Guardian, 16 April 2009, What did Jeremy Bowen do wrong?
- BBC News Online, 4 June 2007, How 1967 defined the Middle East
- "BBC's Jeremy Bowen breached guidelines on accuracy in Israel reports". Daily Telegraph. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Taylor, Jerome (8 September 2008). "Sikhs and Hindus accuse BBC of pro-Muslim bias". The Independent. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Tapper, James (19 July 2008) BBC investigates 'anti-Muslim bias' – on its own Asian network The Daily Mail
- (4 July 2011) News channels biased against Islam' claims survey
- Our coverage of the Arab Spring was over-excited, admits BBC, Daily Mail, 27 June 2012.
- "BBC admits errors in Bahrain unrest coverage". Trade Arabia. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "BBC admits errors in unrest coverage". Gulf News Daily. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- [dead link]
- Bhat, Sheela. "'The BBC cannot see the difference between a criminal and a terrorist'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Sharma, Mihir S. (3 December 2008). "British Biased Corporation? Terrorists in London, gunmen in Mumbai". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Biased Broadcasting Corp also known as BBC". The Pioneer. Retrieved 16 September 2010.[dead link]
- Akbar, M. J. (22 December 2008). "Biting the BBC bullet". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "BBC flayed for not terming Mumbai gunmen as terrorists". The Indian Express. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Addy, Premen (22 May 2001). "Punchy start to the British election". Blonnet.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.[dead link]
- Pinkerton, Alasdair (October 2008). "A new kind of imperialism? The BBC, cold war broadcasting and the contested geopolitics of south asia". Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 28 (4): 537–555. doi:10.1080/01439680802310324.
- "BBC coverage biased, say British Hindus". The Indian Express. 2 March 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2014.[dead link]
- Further issues for BBC charter review: 2nd report of session 2005–06 By Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: Select Committee on the BBC Charter Review
- Singh, W. Rorrkychand (30 March 2012). "BBC Calls Holi A ‘Filthy Festival’". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Singh, W. Rorrkychand (20 August 2009). "UK Sikhs accuse BBC of racism". The Times of India. PTI. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "BBC World Home Page". BBC News. Archived from the original on 28 October 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
- "Cut & paste: A public broadcaster acknowledges its left-wing bias". The Australian. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.(subscription required)
- "Yes, we are biased on religion and politics, admit BBC executives". Evening Standard. 22 October 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
- "'Death to US': Anti-Americanism examined". BBC News Online. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- O'Reilly, Bill (19 June 2007). "The Far Left, Angelina Jolie and FOX News". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Dale, Ian (12 August 2007). "Iain Dale's Diary: How the BBC Does Labour's Dirty Work". Iaindale.blogspot.com. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- "You're kidding". The Sun. 8 September 2007.[dead link]
- Boaden, Helen (14 August 2007). "BBC NEWS |The Editors". BBC. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Utley, Tom (16 July 2004). "The BNP is thoroughly nasty, so why did 750,000 people vote for it?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- "Going undercover in the BNP". BBC News Online. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "BNP duo to face race hate retrial". BBC News Online. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "BNP leader cleared of race hate". BBC News. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Free Speech Two update". British National Party. 14 January 2006. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
- "BBC urged to axe Springer opera". BBC News Online. 5 January 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Protests as BBC screens Springer". BBC News Online. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Security guards step in after Springer opera death threats". The Times. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2005.(subscription required)
- "Group to act over Springer opera". BBC News Online. 10 January 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Second action over Springer opera". BBC News Online. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "BBC rejects Springer complaints". BBC News Online. 30 March 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
- "Finding the right balance". BBC News Online. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
- "NewsWatch: BBC's dilemma over cartoons". BBC News Online. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
- "Muslim jokes 'scare' BBC – Elton". BBC News Online. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
- Paxman, Jeremy (2 February 2007). "How green is my Auntie?". Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Paxman accuses BBC of hypocrisy over environment". The Guardian. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- , BBC Drops Climate Change Special, Media Guardian, 5 September
- Horrocks, Peter (30 August 2007). "BBC Editors Blog". BBC News Online. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "BBC Trust review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science" (PDF). July 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Paton, Graeme (12 January 2014). "Row over BBC climate change conference 'cover up'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Cozens, Claire (4 February 2004). "BBC accused of 'gross insensitivity' to Catholics". The Guardian.
- "British bishops group accuses BBC of bias against Catholics". Chicago Tribune. 18 October 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Archbishop meets BBC over 'bias'". BBC News Online. 7 October 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Watts, Greg (28 March 2004). "Bishops Accuse BBC Of Anti-Catholic Bias". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "BBC accused of anti-Catholic bias". BBC News Online. 29 September 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Bates, Stephen (24 September 2004). "BBC drops controversial Pope cartoon". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Sol Campbell warns fans to stay away from Euro 2012". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 28 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "K. T." (6 June 2012). "Euro 2012 is overshadowed by accusations of racism and anti-Semitism". The Economist. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "K. T." (13 June 2012). "Stitch up unstitched—updated (again)". The Economist. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "‘Unfair’ say organisers". Hindustan Times. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- "Matt Law's Euro 2012 diary: My highs and lows of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine - Matt Law - Mirror Online". Daily Mirror. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Wójcik, Magdalena (20 May 2012). "Wszyscy jesteśmy odpowiedzialni za pseudokibiców". Krakow.gazeta.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Sale, Charles (22 June 2012). "FA set to rap Panorama after race scare show". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Euro 2012: Ukraine chief blasts Sol Campbell". Daily Mail. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Germany fined after soccer fans wear neo-Nazi symbols". CNN. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Holland players subjected to racist abuse at training session". The Guardian. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- Evans, Martin (11 October 2012). "Sir Jimmy Savile: fourth British TV personality accused in sex allegations". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Savile abuse claims: Met Police launch criminal inquiry". BBC News Online. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- Rayner, Gordon (19 October 2012). "Jimmy Savile: police launch criminal investigation after victims claim some abusers are still alive". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- "Jimmy Savile: Number of victims reach 300, police say". BBC News Online. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- O'Brian, Liam (4 October 2012). "Boss of Radio 1 'knew Jimmy Savile was abusing young girls". The Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- "Jimmy Savile accused of sexual abuse". BBC News Online. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Halliday, Josh (2 October 2012). "Jimmy Savile: BBC denies cover-up". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Jimmy Savile accused of sexual abuse". BBC News Online. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Ex-Radio 1 DJ Liz Kershaw claims she was groped on air". BBC News Online. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Ed Miliband calls for 'outsider' to probe over Savile scandal". BBC News Online. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "MPs say Jimmy Savile claims are 'stain on BBC'". BBC News Online. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Mason, Rowena (16 October 2012). "BBC's Jimmy Savile probe to be led by Harold Shipman inquiry judge". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Mason, Rowena (16 October 2012). "BBC's Jimmy Savile probe to be led by Harold Shipman inquiry judge". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "BBC iPlayer - Panorama: Jimmy Savile - What the BBC Knew". BBC. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Sabbagh, Dan (19 October 2012). "Jimmy Savile scandal: BBC chief refuses Panorama interview". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- Williams, Rob (22 October 2012). "Newsnight editor Peter Rippon 'steps aside' over Jimmy Savile claims". The Independent. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "BBC Newsnight editor steps aside over Jimmy Savile claims". BBC News Online. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- Prince, Rosa (23 October 2012). "Jimmy Savile: George Entwistle heckled by BBC reporters after brutal grilling from MPs". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Gover, Dominic (17 October 2012). "Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal: Was BBC's Larry the Lamb Derek McCulloch a Paedophile?". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- O'Hagan, Andrew (27 October 2012). "Light Entertainment". London Review of Books. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Leigh, David; Morris, Steven; van der Zee, Bibi (8 November 2012). "'Mistaken identity' led to top Tory abuse claim". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Sabbagh, Dan; Quinn, Ben; Halliday, Josh (9 November 2012). "BBC in turmoil as Newsnight's Tory abuse story falls apart". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Apology in response to Steve Messham's statement". BBC. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- O'Carroll, Lisa (10 November 2012). "BBC chief unaware of Newsnight's Tory peer child sex abuse story". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- Vale, Paul (10 November 2012). "George Entwistle Has Resigned As Director General Of The BBC". Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Ken MacQuarrie report: Summary of findings". BBC News Online. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Halliday, Josh (19 December 2012). "Pollard report: George Entwistle 'did not read emails' about Jimmy Savile". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Sabbagh, Dan; Plunkett, John (19 December 2012). "Pollard inquiry: BBC 'incapable' of dealing with Jimmy Savile affair". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- BBC News, Entwistle pay-off was cavalier use of public money - MPs, 20 December 2012. Accessed 20 December 2012
- Burrell, Ian; Hickman, Martin (17 June 2011). "BBC crisis over 'fake' sweatshop scene in Primark documentary". The Independent.
- "Shamed BBC hand back top award after 'faking footage of child labour' in Primark Panorama expose". Daily Mail. 28 June 2011.
- "Timeline of events". Primark. 2012.
- [dead link]
- Leach, Ben (4 April 2010). "BBC spending criticised in MPs' report". Daily Telegraph.
- Nikkhah, Roya (25 September 2011). "BBC books 1,663 rooms for two-day concert". Daily Telegraph.
- Alleyne, Richard (20 October 2011). "BBC accused of 'overstaffing' as protesters pull out of Dale Farm". Daily Telegraph.
- Snoddy, Raymond (17 February 2004). "BBC 'anti-competitive'". The Times. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
- John, Hambley (8 June 2004). "Consultation for the Independent Review of the BBC's Digital Television Services". Letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Stationery Office. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Solomon, Kate. "UK's digital switchover is complete, Ofcom confirms | News". TechRadar. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "BBC radio ordered off Russian FM". BBC News. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
- "BBC dropped from Russia's FM waveband today". Reporters without Borders. Retrieved 24 January 2014.[dead link]
- "BBC audiences 'want modern Wales' Monday, 16 July 2007". BBC News Online. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
- Ponsonby, G. A. (31 October 2012). "BBC Scotland comes under fire from NUJ over referendum coverage". newsnetscotland.com. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Two reports accuse BBC of bias in EU coverage". London Evening Standard. 28 January 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Swinford, Stephen; Mason, Rowena (3 July 2013). "BBC has deep liberal bias, executive admits". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "MPs voice concerns about 'off payroll' tax arrangements". BBC News Online. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- BBC homepage