Talk:Criticism of the BBC/Archive 2

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See also Talk:Criticism of the BBC/Archive1 which contains posts relating to previous incarnations of this article.

The BBC is openly Anti-Semitic

Compare these two statements: "On the occasion of the birthday of the great prophet, and for the occasion of the passing of Christ, I say the Islamic Republic government and the Iranian people – with all powers and legal right to put the soldiers on trial – forgave those 15. This pardon is a gift to the British people."

From the BBC: "On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the great prophet of Islam, and on the occasion of Easter and Passover, I would like to announce that the great nation of Iran, while it is entitled to put the British military personnel on trial, has pardoned these 15 sailors and gives their release to the people of Britain as a gift."

<a href="">See for yourself here. You will not find any other report that includes the word PASSOVER.</a>

The BBC is explicitly lying for Ahmadinejad - barefaced lying to cover up his genocidal anti-semitism. If Wikipedia values freedom and civilisation it ought to cover this. Maybe not on the BBC page as such but at least somewhere public.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2007-04-10

See Talk:BBC. Pit-yacker 02:22, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

New article

At the BBC main article, a new section Criticisms of the BBC has appeared. This quickly grew so large and was so disruptive to the flow of the article that editors - myself included - have removed it in the past.

Nevertheless, a small group of editors have spent considerable time defending the section, putting it back, expanding it and finding all manner of sources to support it.

With that level of intense support, removal of the section is not possible but creation (strictly, re-creation) of this article seems sensible, practical and useful. Certainly I can see no reason why not to do it. Be bold! is something of an important rule here at Wikipedia!

Your comments on this are welcome, of course (this is a wiki) and efforts to clean up the resulting article here are also most welcome (the sources need formatting; counter-opinions, which the creators of the section sadly haven't had time to include yet, need adding; a bit of wikification and a rewrite of my introductory paragraph are both needed). ЯEDVERS 21:02, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


Whilst it's obviously the case that there is substantial controversy about the BBC's perceived bias or lack of bias in relation to reporting on Israel/Palestine, I think there are many other areas where the BBC often attracts critiques, ranging from excessive expenditure and unaccountable use of license-payers' money, to over-extensive competition, lack of direction, failure to apply moral standards to programming and many others. I wonder if people would object if we slightly reduced the emphasis on the contemporary middle east and increased material on other aspects of BBC criticism? MarkThomas 20:58, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I think the creators of the original section in the BBC article might object (I haven't had chance to notify them of this move yet) to a reduction. Personally, I think it would be a good idea. But, as a compromise, adding all criticism of the BBC, no matter on what subject (and also defence of the BBC as a counterbalance against a lack of neutrality) would be a good idea. Thanks! ЯEDVERS 21:05, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
AFAICT the issue the last time it appeared was that crticisms of bias were in BBC News and not in the main BBC article, (the problem being that apparently criticsm wasnt prominent enough) so I have a feeling even this compromise of restoring this article will not be acceptable to all. FWIW, IMHO, the BBC is too massive to include everything on a single page, I see the main page as an abstract summary of the BBC with links to other pages reflecting sub-departments. At that point the main article should have had a small number of criticsms about the BBC as an organisation as a whole and not various bits that are chiefly about BBC News.
However, other few points:
1. If we are to have this page, could it be a good idea to move the criticisms of BBC News to this article as well. AFAICT otherwise we are going to end up with two completely contradictory articles.
2. In addition to defence from the BBC, I think it would also be wise to have a strict regulation of the sources (perhaps Wikipedia:Reliable_sources might be useful). There are far too many misquotes, delibrate misinterpretations, quotes taken out of context, cherry picking of sources (I think particularly of the Martin Walker quote: I'm sure with a bit of effort another newspaper leader that was positive about the report could be found) and the like, often sourced from sites with a hidden agenda to proving the existence of partiality on the part of the BBC bias, being posted on these pages.
3. I agree we need some real criticisms (as opposed to a list of various rantings) of the BBC as outlined above by MarkThomas. I had hoped that we could have had a sensible measured section in the main article, unfortunately as some members seem to insist we allow rants on any personal axe grind, I agree that there is no choice but to farm this off to a separate article. The problem being, I fear the real valid criticsms of the BBC will be lost in amongst a sea of hand-picked quotes to prove various conspiracy theories. Pit-yacker 21:36, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree completely with all three points here. I have no idea how to implement them without a lot of work (although sometimes one just has to sit down and be a keyboard-monkey on these things!) and, whilst I was aware that I was likely to be sparking an edit war with someone, somewhere by boldly creating this, I hadn't banked on it happening across multiple articles... although I'm old enough and ugly enough to cope! So, can we draft proposals here, between all who are interested, on how we can make this article a good 'un? It has encyclopedic scope, but, as you say, it also has scope for ranting. Perhaps we can all work together on a plan for a sourced, neutral article on the subject? ЯEDVERS 21:53, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
As a preliminary step, to tidy things up I have merged in the criticsms of BBC News section, and left the same stub that is in the main BBC article. For now I have more or less copied and pasted, with the exception of the two Israel/Palestine Conflict sections where I have attempted to merge the sections and the out of context quote in the anti-American section, which I have removed . Pit-yacker 22:16, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Ok, my changes to the BBC News article have been reverted, so BBC News has a critcism section again Pit-yacker 13:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)


The article currently linked for Zimbabwe doesn't mention that the BBC is proscribed as a terrorist organisation - just that BBC News is no longer available in Zimbabwe due to an insistence by the government that it be censored. They may have proscribed it as a terrorist organisation, but we need a better citation for that given the severity of the statement. JohnGray 17:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

  • A Google for "BBC+banned+Zimbabwe" produces this interesting and very well balanced article from the BBC themselves. First result, too. I'll change the reference (and perhaps the line leading up to it) accordingly. ЯEDVERS 20:02, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Deleted Paragraph

I have deleted the below paragraph the fabled impartiality summit is already mentioned. The source given here appears to be a mis-report of the initial report in the Daily Mail:

According to articles in Yediot Aharonot in October 2006, "an internal memo, recently discovered by the British media, revealed what the BBC has been trying to hide.

Thats why the BBC streamed the meeting on the web.

Senior figures admitted in a recent 'impartiality' summit that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.

Not even the Mail twisted it that far. Andrew Marr said the BBC was a socially liberal organisation (that dont have a problem with gay employees, etc, etc) , this is entirely different from being politically liberal (or Liberal) and a country mile from being left wing. The implication that liberal/Liberal political views where then reported as part of an institutional bias is quite frankly on another planet. The "anti-Christian sentiment" was a misreport of the Mail which itself was mis-reporting a exercise in a hypothetcial where executives discussed what they would do if Sacha Baron Cohen, a controversial Jewish comedian tried to put the Koran in to Room 101.

... One senior BBC executive admitted to the ‘Daily Express’,

AFAICT the Daliy Mail.

"There was a widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it."[1]

So what has political correctness got to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict? Whatever "Politcal Correctness" is, being the most abused term in the English language. In my experience it is usually used by the tabloid press to describe anything they disagree with.

<ref>[,7340,L-3319064,00.html BBC seeks to suppress bias report. Network asks High Court to overturn decision that it publishes report into bias in coverage of Middle East conflict] by Hagit Klaiman (YNetNews, October 24, 2006)</ref>


AFAICT Second report refers to the Balen Report, not this meeting. The Balen Report is believed to criticse the BBC's reporting over the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Pit-yacker 14:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


I am wondering why the link to the media watchdog Media Lens has been deleted ( Since provides a quite accurate analysis of the BBC? I thought the idea of Wikipedia was to allow critical thought. Not just be another encyclopedia where its guardians decide what is or not appropriate according to their biases.

It is a blog. In Wikipedia's external links section, forums and blogs arent usually considered for inclusion (unless the persons involved are uniquely placed to speak on authoritaviley on the specific issue). Anyone can write a blog/post to a forum and say just about anything they like. Just because they have posted doesnt make what they say anymore valid than anyone else. Your additions only to articles concerning outlets traditionally considered as being close to the centre ground or left of centre (and the fact the blog only seems to concern such outlets) also bares the hallmarks of the continued well organised campaign eminating from the right in the US to attempt to use Wikipedia posting any old rubbish (i.e. blogs that take "choice" quotes way out of their original context to "prove" a point, exagerate already exagerated stories from the Mail et al) to discredit outlets that even more biased right-wing outlets see as "biased" Pit-yacker 13:49, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

It is not a blog, it is a website where well articulated and thoughtful articles are written and presented. You obviously have not looked at it, since you do not have a clue about it. It focuses on the 'liberal' media since the corporate biases of the 'conservative' UK media are pretty blatant and obvious. It eminates from the 'left' not the 'right' and has nothing to do with the US "right-wing outlets" which I agree are appalling. The reason it considers the 'liberal' media is because their pro-establishment stance is more subtle than the 'conservative' media. Why would I link it to for example The Telegraph or The Times when it does not focus on them? We are all biased – and it is important that we are aware and upfront about our biases. As soon as you begin to select, you select according to what you think is important. Therefore it is already not objective. It's already biased in the direction of whatever you, as the selector of this information, think people should know. So it's really not possible. Of course, some people claim to be objective. The worst thing is to claim to be objective. Of course you can't be. Journalists lecturers, teachers etc. should say what their values are, what they care about, what their background is, and let you know what is important to them so that people and everybody is warned in advance that they should never count on any one source, but should go to many sources. MediaLens comes from the angle of concern for democracy, freedom, social justice and equality.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2007-04-04

you might add that state media is biased towards the state. This seems obvious. Whether or not the interest of the state reflects that of the general population is the pertinent issue.
Oh, also you might add that you're a damn communist. -- 05:55, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
IMHO it looks like a blog, acts like a blog so it is a blog. The authors can call it what they like. It still comes back to the same thing that anyone could create a similar site. Your point about selecting what is important is an important one. IMHO it is central to the reasons that MediaLens doesnt get a link on this page. It sets a precedent meaning that anyone else with an axe-grinding website has precedent to add their site. Before we know where we are the number of links has snowballed and thats all there is on the page. What's more the links will on the whole be to sites that are in no position to lecture the likes of the BBC, Independent and Guardian on being unbiased, and the websites in question often arent immediately forthcoming about their own agendas.
Unfortunately, as discussed previously, there are very well organised campaigns at work on Wikipedia (which this website may or may not be affiliated to) which attempt to use this site to pursue their own agendas. The very existence of this article is a testement to that - all the wild unfounded "criticisms" formed from partial quotes, etc were very disruptive and took over the main article - they had to be moved to a separate article. Its a shame because the real criticisms of the BBC are drowned in a sea of nonsense. At that point on pages such as this, IMHO it is necessary to take an unusually tough line on what pages qualify as external links and credible sources, where on other pages it may be ok to occasionally turn a blind eye.
At that point I maintain the position that this site is not note-worthy and should not be included.
Pit-yacker 20:09, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

This decision makes it a joke that Wikipedia is a free independent site where people can find multiple points of view. Surely there are not that many websites that are critical of the BBC and just listing there URL's would not take up much space. If you believe in freedom of speech you should you should accept that everyone be allowed an opinion. By deciding which information is valuable for readers and which not, you are acting like a commissar. What is an 'authoritative' source, a government organisation? A corporate organisation? A NGO? Value should be decided on the power of the arguments not the source of the arguments. Even the BBC accept that MediaLens may have some valid points... ( MediaLens use UK university studies to support their work...Glasgow University Media Group ( Cardiff University ( People doing research on Wikipedia can find little useful critical analysis of the BBC due to your blocking this information. One must question your agenda and why you believe the BBC, Independent and the Guardian are beyond criticism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glewis1000 (talkcontribs) 2007-04-26

Wikipedia is not a mere directory of links - See WP:NOT. Nor is it a place for presenting any kind of individual opinion - it is a place for presenting FACTS backed up by authorative sources (See WP:RS, and WP:CITE). We could fill up pages of links about supposed BBC bias/issues. Many/Most of them are highly politicisied (What is becoming really dismaying is the trend of "front orgasnisation" websites that appear to being set up purely as references for Wikipedia) and hide very strong hidden agendas If you want to find some of those sites go and use Google - its far better at it - its algorithms will also give greater promience to those that are "considered" more authorative - something Wikipedia cant do.
What really is a joke is that this criticism page is filled up by conspiracy theories, selective quoting, mis-reports of mis-reports, "Points of View" mail-bag trawling and hardly unbiased opinion pieces from sources in no position to lecture others on unbiased reporting. Some of the criticisms we get in this article are so ludicrous, IMHO they actually put the BBC in a better light.
Meanwhile Where is the real criticism? Where is the criticism of the BBC flogging the family silver? Facilities and equipment licence payers have paid for over decades being flogged off to the private sector at knock down prices to appease populist elements on cost cutting. The real cases of wasting money as opposed to the silly ones with big figures imagined by the tabloids? - Generally again stemming from attempts to appease populist sentiment on "cost cutting" which leads to short-termist decisions being made. Whether the BBC is serving all of the audience well - especially young people? What about questions of the BBC's role? I have said before that an authoritvie argument over how well the BBC serves minorities may to the dismay of the political correctness gone mad brigade find the BBC fails to serve many sections of society adequately.
This comes back to the point I made months ago - "Criticisms of..." sections are actually the hardest sections to write in a good NPOV style as opposed to the easiest as some people around here seem to think. Its not just a case of adding oodles of questionable reports from questionable sources. The nature of these sections and the accusations demand much more reliable and authorative sources. IMHO a NPOV article should follow a discussion pattern. For example, there are very real concerns about what the BBC should be doing - however, there are counter arguments to why the BBC should be doing some of the things it does. Unfortunately, just as finding unreliable sources is much easier than finding reliable ones, finding negative sources about anything is much easier than finding positive ones. Pit-yacker 16:14, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

There is no such thing as "unbiased" opinion - you are biased in what you believe - I am biased - we are all biased depending on various influences, experiences, education etc. Corporate media are bised to their interests, state media is biased towards the most power constituents in the state, so also corporations with a little bit of public interest since we have partial democracies. Legitimate independent media looks after the public interest, but since they are small organisations would be dubious sources by your criteria. So your bias whether concious or not is towards corporations. I have a bias which is towards social justice, democracy and equality, which is why I take issue with the BBC rather than FOX since BBC bias towards corporations is more subtle. University studies have shown that the BBC took a pro-war stance on the Iraq war and that they present a pro-Israeli perspective on the Palestine issue. Does that not address your question of "whether the BBC is serving all of the audience well?". Your philosophy would enable you to get a job at the BBC since you believe it is possible to be neutral. I agree with you that corporate front groups do confuse issues by pretending to be citizens groups. But you can usually trace their funding and check whether they are independent of corporate finance. Anyway I don't think be people are as dumb as you seem to be implying and are usually smart enough to distinguish the quality analysis from the bullshit. I agree with much of your commentary on criticism of the BBC but find it also supeficial. Noam Chomsky is considered by many as one of the greatest intellectuals alive. May be we can agree that he is an authorative source? Since you seem to rely on these rather than assessing strengths of individual arguments. He says that "regular critical analysis of the media, filling in crucial gaps and correcting the distortions of ideological prisms, has never been more important. Media Lens has performed a major public service by carrying out this task with energy, insight and care." I am also distrustful of peoples motives when they use phrases like "conspiracy theories" to try to shut people up. A "conspiracy theory" is a totally meaningless phrase which are used by people who know that they can't answer the argument and they can't deal with the evidence.

pit-yacker is typical of a paranoid left , seeing righ-wing conspiracies everywhere. yeah right - and i'm having a beer with Dick Cheney this evening. Blogs critical of the BBC *should* definitely be linked to - for it is on the blogs that most of the analysis of bbc bias is currently being conducted.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2007-08-16

Please see WP:NPA and WP:RS. Pit-yacker 13:36, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Blogs such as Biased BBC cannot be used as references, however there's no reason why they can't go in the external links section. Additionally the Telegraph blog is written by professional journalists and as such can be used as a WP:RS. Iceage77 13:58, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
BBC has responded to the hypocrisy accusations by updating its article [1], still no mention of the vandalism though. Iceage77 14:13, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Question for the Brits.

In English English, do the quotes go inside or outside the quotes? We have an article on this, but given that the article seems to switch between the two at random, I figured I'd ask if the American style has become more common. I personally don't care either way how the article is written (I prefer punctuation be precise more than pretty, but anyway) but it should be standardized within the article --Lucid 14:18, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

(I think you mean punctuation inside/outside quotes?). The article you link to is, I think, slightly misleading. When I was at primary school in Scotland, we were taught what is called here the American convention. So UK practice is by no means uniform. Personally, I think the "British" practice is more logical, and I tend to use it myself, but like you I don't really care very much.
--NSH001 15:05, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, and I already wanted to say that this article seems to switch between them at random. I figured what you say is the case, that it's not very strictly controlled either. Does anyone have an opinion either way on what format we should standardize this article to? If there aren't any opinions either way about one way being more correct for this article than the other, we could just take a poll for it --Lucid 15:29, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
As a Brit, I was under the impression that punctuation should always go inside the quotation marks, unless you had a reference at the end of the sentence, in which case you have quotation marks, the reference, then the punctuation. I'm not sure if the same applies when the reference is supserscript though. Plus, I have a lot of dealings with the US, so I'm not sure if my view is the British or the American. Perhaps we should use British here as I imagine most readers of this page will be from the UK? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by The Enlightened (talkcontribs) 23:59:54, August 18, 2007 (UTC).
Which is kinda what I'm saying-- y'all don't seem to be able to decide what the normal convention is. --Lucid 00:18, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

If you look at WP:MOS, the standard Wikipedia convention (at least the last time I looked there) is that a comma etc. shouldn't go inside quotes unless it logically belongs inside (which could be considered a British convention), but that the outermost pair of quotes should be double (which could be considered an American convention). AnonMoos 00:14, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

I'll have to look at that (I'll admit, MOS is the one thing I never really bother reading unless it actually comes up. It's just so damn boring.), but MOS also says that we should use the localized (ised!) conventions, so I thought I would bring this up. --Lucid 00:18, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, localization applies a lot more to spelling and vocabulary choice than to punctuation... AnonMoos 00:55, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


They are not reliable sources. That simple. Do not treat blogs as sources, or links. Some guy that has very obvious reasons to attack the BBC is not a reliable source. Neither is a random blogspot account set up to insult the company. An actual newspaper article is reliable. A reporter ranting in his free time is not. --Lucid 15:14, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

A blog is simply a method for publishing content. The policy re blogs is to prevent personal websites from being used as sources. It needs to be interpreted with a bit of common sense. May I remind you of WP:3RR, which you have already exceeded. Iceage77 15:20, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
(edit conf) Might I remind you that 3RR is content disputes, not vandalism reversions. Read WP:RS. Reliable sources are authors or publications regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand. -- A journalist is NOT trustworthy or authoritative, even if the company he works for is. Reliable publications are those with an established structure for fact-checking and editorial oversight. which a blog CLEARLY will not have, as it is a place for the person's PERSONAL opinions, interests, and etc. Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for fact-checking or with no editorial oversight. Questionable sources should only be used in articles about themselves. this is not an article about him, so his questionable reliability should NOT be used. Also see things questionable sources may not be, it is not contentious;-this clearly is- it is not unduly self-serving; I'd have to say that insulting a competitor is pretty self serving- it does not involve claims about third parties; it VERY CLEARLY involves claims about the BBC, a third party. Interpreting with common sense shows that they should not be used BECAUSE THEY ARE UNRELIABLE, the entire point of the RELIABLE SOURCES policy, not that people who only write for reliable publications are reliable by proxy. --Lucid 15:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
There are clearly editors here who are trying to write this to a pro-BBC perspective. The example of the George Bush "walker" being changed to "wanker" was in the Times article but this keeps on getting removed. Equally, you can not argue a Telegraph blog as unreliable and then include a BBC blog defending the BBC. Blogs from official websites of a company are perfectly acceptable to use as first-hand sources of the blog-writers views. I would agree that they can not be used as basements for facts, but for opinions of the guy that writes the blog it can be.The Enlightened 15:35, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
( edit conf)The BBC blog is used to show their defense against multiple claims, and does not make potentially libelous comments against third parties. In addition, it explains their addition of text to their article. It also reflects the view of more than one person. List goes on like this. The reason I removed the comment about George Bush was because it's pretty much irrelevant, and does not serve any encyclopedic purpose. There are lots of examples of vandalism and the like from the BBC, and nobody is denying that. I would like to hear why I would write this to a 'pro-BBC perspective', though, it should be amusing. I care about one thing, and that's making the internet not suck, and if the only things being added are anti-bbc, of course removing them is going to look pro-bbc. I'd remove a poorly sourced rebuttal just as quickly --Lucid 15:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
If the "wanker" edit is important enough to be included in the article in the Times, it is important enough to be included on an article specifically on BBC criticism. It is notable because it shows that there were edits being made that were not in good faith. It is secondly important because most claims of BBC bias in the mainstream media in the UK are that the BBC is liberal-left and anti-American. The fact that this slur on the American President was edited by a BBC member is notable as it fits with this alleged bias. Secondly, from the wikipedia policy page you mentioned is this line "Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control", which the Telegraph 'blog' cleary is, written professionally on the website by a major correspondent. The Telegraph's view of the BBC is no more libellous than the Guardian's criticism of David Cameron, which IS included on wikipedia. The Enlightened 15:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
(deinfent) Not really, although I wouldn't object to a comment saying "including insults and obscenities" or something to that effect, which covers a much more broad range of edits without being too US-centric. And anyway, WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS is not an excuse to libel someone, and I see nothing on the page that suggests the post was written professionally, and certainly nothing to say it was by a major correspondent. If we did quote it, we would have to identify it as the Telegraph, which would be inaccurate as it is not a proper article, and certainly not written by a professional, as there are no professionals for Wikipedia Studies --Lucid 15:56, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
This is outrageous. You're claming that accusing the BBC of being biased is libellous, thus we can't ever include accusations of bias. How convenient! You're being deliberately obfuscating here. You don't need to be a professional for wikipedia studies, just a professional journalist. The blog article was in the "UK Correspondent blog", which is contributed to by numerous Telegraph journalists. Damian Thompson regularly writes for the Telegraph. If you're going to keep doing this obstinacy I want to take this to an admin. The Enlightened 16:08, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that a single person who is also in extremely obvious competition with the BBC is potentially libelous, but more so just plain biased themselves and unreliable. Working in journalism does not reliability make. Our options here are cite the source as the Telegraph (wrong, as it is not edit/fact checked and cleared for publication), or cite the source as the author of the blog (correct, but almost certainly unreliable using selfpub/questionable sources guidelines, not to mention probably not notable) --Lucid 16:12, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The Telegraph is a broadsheet newspaper. The BBC is a broadcast company. They are not in direct competition and even if they were thats not a reason for ignoring it. It's not up to wikipedia editors to assume others motives and not include criticism on that basis. You're really on the dregs of your argument now aren't you? Libelous? Criticism of another organisation is perfectly fine and not libellous in the slightest. You clearly don't know anything about UK libel law if you think otherwise. The Enlightened 16:33, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Normally it's the person who has to start insulting the argument instead of actually arguing that's wearing thin. That is the case here --Lucid 17:19, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I would have thought that this Daily Telegraph blogpost would be a good ref link regarding the BBC editing of Wikipedia, even if it is in competition with the BBC. I would have thought that both sides of the argument should be referred to in order to comply with Wikipedias NPOV policy? Joflaitheamhain 16:23, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
That is not how NPOV works. From the policy, representing fairly and without bias all significant views (that have been published by reliable sources)-- a single blog post from a source of questionable reliability at best is not a significant view. NPOV is not giving "every side of the story" either, in most cases it is "give the facts and don't distort them". Very rarely are interpretations of fact important. --Lucid 17:19, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes it would be. We should include the criticism, including precisely what was said and a reference, and then the BBC response, how they defended it, with a refernce. Thats NPOV. Not just containing the BBC response and not a single item of the criticism! The Enlightened 16:33, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
No, it isn't. I highly recommend you read WP:NPOV, as you are grossly misinterpreting it. As I said above, NPOV is representing the facts without distortion, and then fairly representing all significant views-- a single person, writing in a blog, from a competing company (and yes, they are competitors in news media) is NOT a significant reliable source that meets NPOV. All that needs to be said is that there's criticism, which the BBC states themselves, we don't need to go around listing every little person with an axe to grind against the BBC to establish a fact we already have, and we don't need to show their opinion as it is already obvious, and most of the time would break WP:UNDUE in showing their personal opinions -Lucid 17:19, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the view in that article IS a significant view, as is proven by the fact the BBC felt they had to respond to it. The guy regularly writes for the Telegraph. The blog is NOT a personal blog, but a general Telegraph UK "Correspondents" blog. It is NOT of questionable reliability outside of your mind. It is an online column from one of the largest newspapers in the UK. There is NOTHING ok wikipedia policy that says competitors criticism of each other should not be included, and besides, the two organisations fufill entirely different sections of the media market. 18:51, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry , but you are participating in what amounts to blatant censorship in favour of the BBC. That this is occuring on the "Criticism of the BBC" page is laughable and brings the reputation of Wikipedia into disrepute. You dismiss a reputable journalist with a major UK national newspaper as having a "axe to grind" - therefore you yourself are showing a point of view and a bias. I was merely trying to be even handed. Joflaitheamhain 17:46, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Uh-huh. Again, why would I be censoring anything in the BBC's favor? If you haven't got a very good rational for making a serious accusation, you should avoid it in the future-- I could very well say you're setting out to discredit the BBC, but it doesn't mean crap. I would like to know how recognizing a person's bias when it slaps you across the face is 'bias'-- and again, I'd like to ask for a reason I would be acting in favor of either party in this discussion. If I did have an opinion here, it would be anti-BBC if anything for wasting tax payer money, but that isn't the case, and if I wanted to have an opinion about things I'd get a blag. If you cannot provide evidence that this is a significant and reliable source of criticism, it should not be mentioned. In addition, it accomplishes NO encyclopedic value whatsoever, unless you'd like to give a very good rationale for that. There's no need to show sides of the story here, we already have all the fact we need from the sources we've got -- someone notices the BBC is inappropriately editing their content, and some people are vandalizing, the BBC publishes a story about it and doesn't mention their own activities, people criticize the BBC for it, the BBC apologizes. That's all there is to it, for now anyway, and linking to the criticism is unencyclopedic, unreliable, and just plain unneeded --Lucid 17:55, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
There is new information in that blog not covered by your edits, as there are two pieces of criticism here. The first is that the BBC was criticised for BBC employees editing wikipedia, including this page. That is covered by your edits. The second is that the BBC was criticised for failing to report on its role in the story. The BBC reaction to this criticism is included but the original criticism has not been. It needs to be added. 18:51, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Since it appears that you take Wikipedia's integrity very seriously, and do appear to have good intentions, I do apologise for accusing you of bias, and I wholeheartedly take back my comments if they have offended you. The point is , is that Damian Thompson was criticising the BBC for not mentioning it's own wiki edits in the original news story about CIA edits that it ran. It was after Thompson's article appeared that we then saw corrections to the CIA edit news story (belatedly mentioning BBC edits) and later, we saw the mea culpa article on the BBC Editor's blog, so it is a important part of the narrative of the "wiki edit" section on this page. He's the only journalist (to the best of my knowledge) in a major newspaper to have picked up on the story and to have published on it. To leave it out is, in itself unencyclopedic and unreliable. Joflaitheamhain 18:22, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
(deindent) and now we're getting somewhere. Now it's really a debate on if it's an important event or not. Personally, I'd say that his specific criticism isn't, especially given the rather unprofessional nature of it and rudeness make it somewhat inappropriate. I suppose a sentence like "After criticisms from it's own readers(BBCSOURCE) and outspoken journalist Damian Thompson(BLOGSOURCE), the BBC did etc." would be alright, although not perfect, it's a compromise --Lucid 18:34, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
It's the Telegraph's blog, not Damian Thompson's! And what he has done to qualify as "outspoken" now? That's an opinion and is unnecessarily trying to discredit him. Besides, the phrasing should directly refer to the criticism and what was said, not as passing "After da da da, the BBC said this..." 18:51, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
now i really am confused. Are you reading the same article as me? How is Thompson's article "unprofessional" and also contain "rudeness"? Sure , it has a POV, but rude? I just don't see it. Please enlighten me if you can. Joflaitheamhain 19:08, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Lu is right. Bigglove 15:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

OK people, I seriously think that both sides need to calm down. Lu, though I personally agree with your opinion, your previous edit comment was unecessarily caustic. Iceage, check out the policies that have been cited. My suggestion: neither side edits this article any more today, as both are heading for 3RR violations. TheIslander 15:45, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

It is a bit inconsistent that a link to the BBC Editors blog is allowed, but a ref link to a blogpost critical of the BBC's wikipedia editing is not allowed. Joflaitheamhain 15:53, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, this is used to show that the BBC did recognize the complaints and repaired it thusly, it can be considered at least reliable enough for this purpose if not others because it does not make contentious claims about third parties, or personal attacks, and has a direct effect on the article which is definitely a reliable source. If it was just someone from the BBC going "Well screw him, he's competition, whadda he know! Look at the telegraph talk about vandalizing the page at the end of tehir own article!" (which is actually probably the case here) it would be just as inappropriate. --Lucid 15:58, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah yes , I see what you are on about. The blogpost critical of the BBC Wiki editing does indeed use personal attack language (quote: "Of course the real joke is that we telly-taxpayers are paying these morons to sit on their backsides..") , whereas the BBC editors blogpost is is more polite in tone. However, the Daily Telegraph blogpost might be worth considering to counterbalance the ref link to that editors blog perhaps? Joflaitheamhain 16:12, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
NPOV is not 'a balancing act', it's not showing an opinion either way. There is no need for the insults, we are better off without them. It's not about rudeness or politeness, it's about not hosting personal attacks and unreliable comment. Seeing as this comment was reflected in the BBC's article, it's highly likely that it's the opinion of more than just the one editor, and as they seem to speak on behalf of the BBC it's safe to say that it is a company statement (or that he is on the way to being fired!) and that is a reliable enough source to give their defenses as a primary source --Lucid 16:18, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
You've lost me there. Damian Thompson of the Telegraph is trading personal insults in this article?? Joflaitheamhain 16:27, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

i've gone ahead and added a ref link to Damian Thompson. His article is a good summary of BBC Wiki editing and counterbalances the BBC Editors blog link. Even though it is a "blogpost" he is an accredited journalist with a major national UK newspaper and it is hosted by the Telegraph - so i would assume that it's been approved by the Telegraph's editorial board, rather than being merely an random individual's blogpost. Joflaitheamhain 17:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

One difficulty with excluding blogs from a narrative is that the BBC "Wiki Edit" story actually broke on a blog - specifically this blog post on an anti-BBC blog. On August 15th. Later that day (at 17.45) the BBC ran with their CIA Wiki Edit story. If you click through on the comments on the blogpost you'll see that the FIRST two comments are by a BBC employees - David Gregory and Nick Reynolds. Now assuming that they are BBC employees, then that means that someone at the BBC was aware of this before the CIA edit story was run, but they still decided to run with it. Only later did an addition to the CIA edit story appear : "BBC News website users contacted the corporation to point out that the tool also revealed that people inside the BBC had made edits to Wikipedia pages" - which is possibly a fabrication, as both Nick Reynolds and David Gregory were already aware of the "BBC Wiki Edit" story. The question to ask, in terms of charges of biased reporting, is why did the BBC run with the CIA angle when it was also equally guilty of wiki vandalism. Joflaitheamhain 19:28, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

May I add that the BBC "wiki edit" story then spread to the high traffic American blog Little Green Footballs , and thence to the EU Referendum blog, and onto the front page of and then 2307 diggs on Of course wikipedia's strict "no blogs" rule is perfectly applicable to blogs setup last Tuesday, but when we are dealing with a blog that has been going for 5 years non-stop, then i'm not sure if the rule should still apply. Maybe the rules should be adjusted to cater for the age of a blog. For in years to come, should a blog with a 10 year archive be treated the same as a blog set up yesterday? I'm not so sure on that one. In the past the "letters page" of newspapers was a valuable historical document on the attitudes of people regarding various subject areas - today we have the blogs. At the very least, the issue needs some discussion and consideration. Joflaitheamhain 19:45, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the place to discuss this is at WP:RS talk page rather than here. The current policy is no blogs and we need to stick to that. Bigglove 20:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
you make a fair enough point. come to think of it, the narrative i described above is actually more suited to a historical or wikinews type of entry rather than a pure wikipedia entry. maybe it should be placed in a "history of the bbc" or "news about the bbc" page perhaps. this of course would then cover the controversies such as the hutton inquiry , the balen report and such like, rather than just having a specific "criticism" page. by its nature, a "criticism" page is always a very difficult one to have a NPOV on because of the differing viewpoints. Joflaitheamhain 21:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I've posted some comments on here as Bigglove has suggested. Please do add your comments and opinions on this, as I think this is becoming a weakness in Wikipedia's coverage - especially in light of , for example, the rise of blogs in the U.S. in the political sphere, and how blogs are now breaking stories which the "reliable source" MSM are then afterwards picking up on. Then again, maybe this is not suited to wikipedia itself - maybe a historical record wikipedia is required? Joflaitheamhain 21:26, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

The idea that "someone at the BBC knew about this" so therefore everyone knew is a little naive. Neither David Gregory or I work anywhere near the particular correspondent who wrote the CIA story and I have no idea if he reads biased bbc.

09:24, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds

That's fair enough, but it leaves the BBC looking ridiculous. Running a story about CIA people making edits to Wiki when hundreds of BBC employees were doing the same thing. FWIW I think some POV is essential in an article like this. It's about controversy. detailing others opinions on BBC bias. There's an ongoing problem here with members of organisations or the subjects of articles themselves making edits. It undermines the credibility of Wikipedia, how can I regard you as unbiased? When BBC people claim their edits were only to remove POV and inaccuracies how can I trust you're telling the truth? A voluntary rule asking people with a vested interest not to edit? Impossible to enforce, hopefully the embarrassment this has caused your employer will make you think next time, I doubt it though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Borsabil (talkcontribs) 15:44, August 25, 2007 (UTC)

You can regard me as unbiased because I will obey Wikipedia's own rules. The values of the BBC include impartiality and accuracy and I will also abide by those values when editing. As for how you trust me I suggest you look at the changes I have made to this section and judge whether they have make Wikipedia more accurate, inparticular by looking at the sources I have linked to. The changes I made to the section about the Impartiality Seminar would be a good place to start.

Nick Reynolds (BBC) 18:08, 27 August 2007 (UTC) Nick Reynolds.

Effect on private sector

This needs to be discussed. For example, ITN News closed down because they simply couldn't compete against the telly-tax funded News 24. I believe Sky News also operates at a loss. Iceage77 14:55, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Notable omissions

This article doesn't even mention some of the most prominent controversies of recent years, such as Barbara Plett's tears, and the airing of the Jerry Springer Opera -- which firmly established in the mind of many that the BBC has a clear policy of singling Christianity out for defamation which it would not permit in the case of any other religion. AnonMoos 00:25, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

If you can cite it with reliable submissions, go ahead and include it. TheIslander 00:28, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not an "it", it was several distinct incidents -- and they were covered on the BBC site itself. However, if it's left up to me to add them, then it might not get done soon... AnonMoos 00:31, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Not our fault. If it's broke, fix it --Lucid 14:06, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Should this page be called something else?

I wonder if "Criticism of the BBC" is the right title for it - seems a bit wooly, and implies that it will only show the criticism. Would "recent controversies about the BBC" be better?

18:27, 18 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)

I think it is the right title. "Controversies" would not cover general criticism of the BBC that occurs outside of particular incidents. This has previously existed on this page but has been deleted at some point in the last year. It must be added back in again at some point. The Enlightened 00:39, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Are you thinking of BBC controversies? Pit-yacker 00:55, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Now I don't know whether the notorious recent incidents of Barbara Plett's tears, and the airing of the Jerry Springer Opera would belong on this page or that one... AnonMoos 10:27, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
It is a difficult line to draw. Would a merger be on the cards? Perhaps the dividing line for what should go in each article is that criticism of a particular action should go in the controversies, and criticism alleging that a particular action shows a more endemic problem should go here. Just a suggestion. The Enlightened 23:59, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

The Balen Report seems to be in three different places in Wikipedia. Wouldn't it make more sense for it to be in just one? The BBC controversies section seems to be more historical and focus on significant controversies, wheras this one is more recent and mix of significant and less important ones. I don't understand the Enlightened's distinction between the two.

Nick Reynolds (BBC) 21:40, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds

I would personally suggest a merger. I've been thinking of doing so for quite a while, but was just never 100% sure that it was the best course of action. I see no harm in suggesting it, though, so I'll tag the two articles and guage people's responses. TheIslander 22:03, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


Some years ago Charles Moore started up a column called Beebwatch in the Telegraph, documenting what the paper regarded as BBC bias. It didn't last long, but it was pretty prominent criticism for a while from a major paper. I believe there was some stuff on this page a year or so back, but I don't have time right now to find it. Could anyone retrieve what was missing or find other research on it. I think it shuold be included. The Enlightened 00:05, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Suggested merger between this article and BBC controversies

This has been mentioned above a bit, but here's a proper section for this proposal. It seems to me that, though these two articles cover slightly different areas, the differences are too subtle to warrent separate articles. I would suggest a merger: something along the lines of creating an article with a 'Previous Controversies' section, and a 'Current controversies/Critisism' section. Thoughts? If the concencus is 'yes', then I'm happy to try and battle through doing it myself, though if someone knowledgeable in this subject could volunteer, that'd be great ;) TheIslander 22:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea to me.

Nick Reynolds (BBC) 18:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC) Nick Reynolds

Support There's no reason to delineate between the articles. You need to have this section on the controversies talk page though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Enlightened (talkcontribs) 16:58, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

Support The two articles do cover similar things, and currently there cound be some confusion about where things belong, as shown by this comment by AnonMoos. I think it's best overall if the articles are merged. Boy1jhn 08:03, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge under the title BBC controversies (which is the older article - see Talk:BBC controversies) with a redirect from Criticism of the BBC please.Zir 08:44, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Against A very strong against! I question the motives of those who would support such a name change. The word "controversy" does not have the same meaning as "criticism". Criticism of the BBC could include long-standing arguments against, or for, the whole concept of the BBC, or important aspects of its setup, such as the arguments for or aginst the license fee. These are not "controversies"! Meowy 19:06, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Support merge - though the two things aren't exactly the same, they are similar enough to cause confusion. EvilRedEye 16:12, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Support - I agree with the comments above (especially TheIslander's comment), though there are still controversies that haven't been addressed. (For example, I put in a link in the BBC controversies article to a BBC page on some of the controversies they've been in, and some haven't been included. (Of course, since the one off the top of my head involved Oswald Mosely...) And I'm suprised why Michael Grade's treatment of Doctor Who isn't in here...) And someone posted a comment earlier that certain criticisms don't have anything to do with specific controversies, such as some peoples' dislike for the license fee and with Public/Government run broadcasting. Just my two (US) cents. Orville Eastland 14:01, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Support Having read talk pages on a number of issues, they tend to get bogged down in minutiae. I don't think the difference between the two topics merits two pages. Icabelieveitmei 16:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Support With the caveot that the page denote controversy or criticsm. Drachenfyre (talk) 06:51, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Oppose What are you talking about when you say 'subtle' differences. Its because of the lack of the appropriateness of content, that what should be a self evident and substantive differentiation remains hidden to a casual or uninformed reader. The article currently lists and details many particular instances and therefore reads like a set of associated fashionable news items or almanac entries. Contrast this with an approach of analysing policy and its implementation such as impartiality, objectivity, independence or deflating the BBCs self serving myths of quality and balance. Many of the controversies listed in this article should be moved to the controversies article not because of duplication but because they are appropriate there, but not here, where the focus should be on criticism from a standpoint of systemic analysis rather than the current flavour of the week/ month / year. However, examples of particular instances that illustrate a point about a topic, such as impartiality, should remain but with a reduced amount of detail.

--Theo Pardilla 10:44, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Support The two overlap to such an extent that they could easily be condensed into a single article. It is unclear where anything new should be added. In addition, this article is somewhat over-long, and is occasionally repetitive. Brilliantine (talk) 22:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

No mention of the license fee in this article?

I think it should be included. Jeremy Paxman recently said that the license fee was something that belonged in the 1950s, and certainly not the 21st century...--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 17:33, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

A transcript of Paxman's MacTaggart lecture can be found at [2] but bear in mind that what he said about the licence fee was only a small part of it [3] Zir 22:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Neutral point of view

Any "criticisms of..." article must tread a fine line. It's important to report significant criticisms, and there are many significant criticisms of the BBC. However it's also important to avoid becoming a washing line for the hanging out of grievances. In particular I suspect that the complaints about reporting of the Middle East, which in the context of UK politics, barely register as a blip on the radar, may be overemphasized by virtue of having had disproportionate attention from people with a pro-Israeli bias. This is not an issue for me to address, since I generally avoid involving myself in Middle East affairs, but I suggest that it would be worth someone's while to examine the writing in this article to address what seems to be a very strong (and quite surprising emphasis on what is in UK terms almost a non-issue. --Tony Sidaway 16:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The BBC is an organization with international reach, so that what has the most resonance in UK-internal politics is not the only criterion for this article. I remember reading in 2005 or 2006 a BBC reporter's account of stopping random Israelis on the street to ask them questions -- and as soon as he identified himself as a BBC reporter, then almost every single individual wanted to talk with him about bias in BBC coverage of the middle east, rather than answer his questions... AnonMoos 22:19, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, your concerns actually would appear to be with Disproportionate Emphasis, rather than Neutral Point of View, so that it's somewhat unfortunate that you added an "NPOV" tag to this article. AnonMoos 22:22, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Dealing with disproportionate emphasis (or "undue weight"), is a crucial part of our neutral point of view policy. See Wikipedia:neutral point of view#Undue_weight, a part of the policy which is considered important enough to have no less than four shortcuts dedicated to it (WP:WEIGHT is the most common).
I agree with your comment on Israeli criticisms of the BBC in principle. They're important and they should be reported. However Israel's issues with international opinion clearly extend far beyond the reach of the BBC. I'm obviously biased which is why I tend not to edit articles related to the Middle East, but the large amount of attention paid in this article does seem disproportionate. --Tony Sidaway 22:56, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The NPOV tag has been on the page for almost two weeks, and there has been no further discussion -- and I regard the claim that international issues are given greater prominence than they might deserve in terms of strictly UK-internal politics to be a very weak reason for adding an NPOV tag to an article about an organization with international reach. Therefore I will be removing the NPOV tag from the article in a day or two, unless other substantive concerns are expressed by other people. AnonMoos 14:52, 9 September 2007 (UTC) from a BBC url. Bigglove 02:46, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Here's another one:

SHAME ON YOU BBC!!!!! Bigglove 02:49, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

How can you tell it is the BBC? —Christopher Mann McKaytalk 02:59, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
By the URL. The editor who made those changes is editing from a URL registered to the BBC. Check it out:
They are editing many BBC pages, but usually with information. These are examples where they are actually removing actual criticism. Wikipedia should discipline the BBC for this. Bigglove 03:32, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
AFAICT Wikipedia has no power to discipline the whole of the BBC, and a quick check of other contributions shows that blocking BBC IP addresses en-masse would certainly harm Wikipedia more. Where, good content is removed, the editor concerned, should be subject to the same disciplinary procedure as any other editor.
However, the point good content should be noted. There is a fair bit of rubbish that gets put into this article sourced from sources with hidden agendas - and often put in by editors with hidden agendas. Your Evening Standard example above is a case in point - the original editor credited it as a report from The Times(given the use of "of London" I guess the person came from outside the UK) and quoted from the article, what the article what appeared to be quotes from the BBC's report - go to the actual report and this "quote" is not contained in the report. The quote that was put in here appears to be merely the opinion of the Evening Standard - a right wing and rabidly anti-BBC tabloid. This being the case and numerous other examples from DMGT tabloids makes me suspicous of a number of the other tales which use such sources - at that point I would like to see at the least a more reliable source for the tale.
Pit-yacker 09:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The Evening standard is a prominent source, and regardless of how ridiculous you perceive the Standard's views, its criticism deserves to be included. The BBC has had plenty of accusations of bias over the years, and extremely few seem to be included here. I've put this article on my watchlist and will be making sure genuine criticism from prominent sources is not removed. The Enlightened 15:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
That is isnt the point. I didnt say the Evening Standard's comments should be removed. The point I was making was the Standard article was misleading, it implied something was included in the report when it was actually just the Evening Standard's opinion. This opinion was more or less copied across to this article (and initially attributed to the more reliable and better known The Times). Consequently, I have made clear that this is the opinion of the Standard and not something that the BBC itself said. It isnt the job of Wikipedia to perpetuate myths made up by either side.
As for opinions of media outlets perhaps we should go back to having a section on opinions of other news outlets. Rather than the rather farcical the BBC was the most pro-Iraq war and anti-Iraq war broadcaster at exactly the same time. However, just lumping opinions out of papers on every conceivable doesnt make for a NPOV article, and that is why I maintain that contrary to what some people believe this is actually one of the hardest articles to right well (and IMO currently one of the worst articles on the entire project). A pile of axe grindings on various issues doesnt reflect that there are a great number of people who probably recognise that whilst the BBC may exhibit bias, it is far from the worst offender. Unfortunately, praise does not sell newspapers and books so you dont tend to get many articles saying "Actually I think the BBC is quite even handed on this issue." - and thats what makes this article so hard to write properly.
As it is, if someone who had no prior knowledge of the UK media came to Wikipedia, they would leave thinking that the BBC was the most biased and DMGT was a bastion of truth. Now whilst the BBC is far from perfect, even the most deluded person in Britain recognise that is far from reality.
What really doesnt help with this article, and I know I'm probably assuming bad faith, is the number of people who go out of their way to twist stories even further. For example, taking quotes in articles completely out of context.
Pit-yacker 15:40, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I think claiming that a particular paper's view of BBC bias is "axe-grinding" is POV itself. If the Standard has written pieces arguing the BBC is biased they should be included. If the BBC truly is nonpartisan I'm sure you'll find respected sources that argue thus. This is especially the case considering how many argue the BBC IS biased, as you'd expect people who believe in fairness would respond. I don't have time now but I will look back over past edits in this article to see if anything has been unnecessarily removed, and I also plan to include other criticism. 19:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Bangs head against wall! I have never said that the opinion of the Standard should be removed. I was merely pointing out that the actual Standard article was misleading and that the misleading nature of this article was more or less carbon copied to this article - this seems to happen all to often in this article. The term axe-grinding refers to the ludicrous ends that some editors with hidden agendas to "prove" the BBC is biased on a particular topic will go to. In the relatively short time I have been on Wikipedia I have seen cases where parts of sentences are quoted to make the BBC look biased. In at least one case I can think of off the top of my head, when a statement is put back into the correct context it has the opposite meaning. Equally, I have seen stories coming from outlets that can hardly be described as reliable sources which are used for sources where they are really in no position to preach on being unbiased on their topic of interest (believe me the Daily Mail, Sun and Standard really are at the good end of the spectrum).
Unfortunately, whilst there is praise for the BBC (I quote from the article by Martin Walker which is used as evidence the BBC is biased "It’s amazing that the coverage is as decent as it is, and that most of us in the business concede privately that, for all its flaws, the BBC still does a better job that any other news organisation on Earth.") the nature of the issue is that saying that the BBC does quite a good job isnt really controversial. It isnt going to sell newspapers or books - it is like that on most topics.
I think the Martin Walker article actually does say quite a lot on this issue. The point is no the BBC isnt perfect - and at that point who is going to write a leader saying they are when they can go for the more controversial pointing out of all of the BBC's mistakes. Infact its healthy for the BBC that they do point out mistakes. However, that means it is extremely hard to find positive sources about the BBC's output, especially when the tabloids regard Beeb-bashing as somewhat of a national sport, and we have something here on every conceivable issue.
The result is at the end of the day, as I said before in my opinion, this article is so unbalanced, someone who has no knowledge of UK media coming to read Wikipedia, would come away with the impression that the spectrum of bias of the UK media is the opposite way around to what it really is.
Pit-yacker 00:57, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I am one of the BBC people who has edited this page. When I first came across it, it seemed to be largely quotes from newspapers who have an anti BBC agenda. I have not removed most of these quotes (except when they were wildly inaccurate). Instead I have added text and links to other press and BBC sources which give the BBC response to some of the criticisms. All I am trying to do is give a fuller, more accurate picture. I try and obey Wikipedia's house rules - I am trying to put more facts in the article rather than just inaccurate opinion.

For example, the entry on the Balen report was out of date. It did not include the final judgment (in the BBC's favour) of the High Court. So I added this fact and a link to the relevant BBC press release.

I watched (most of) the Impartiality Seminar last year as it was streamed live on the web for anyone to see. Some of the newspaper reporting of it was inaccurate (for example it was hardly "secret" if it was streamed live on the web). I have added relevant material when I saw it first hand with my own eyes.

I try and obey Wikipedia's House Rules. I am doing this to make the entries more accurate.

If I am doing anything that breaks the House Rules, please let me know. 10:39, 15 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)

NB not sure if I have signed this correctly please do bear with me.

Thank you for trying to improve WP, but before you go on, please review Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. This incident would not look as bad if you'd put some notice on a talk page beforehand. Thanks and see WP:SIG. ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:42, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Be aware that "132.185" ip addresses are from the BBC. For example, somebody at the BBC renamed George W Bush changing the "W" to "wanker" , which is a term of abuse in the UK.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2007-08-15

Yes which should be treated as vandalism as per Wikipedia policy. The fact that the person edited from a BBC IP is irrelevant to the fact. Whilst vandaling Wikipedia is childish and I would expect more from an adult, FWIW BBC employees arent as far as I am aware banned from holding personal opinions, and the notion that George Bush is a Wanker is something that 80% of the UK population would probably personally agree with. On a final note could editors sign there comments using ~~~~ please? Pit-yacker 11:49, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

"the notion that George Bush is a Wanker is something that 80% of the UK population would probably personally agree with" ----- This is typical of the left wing BBC to believe its own anti U.S. propoganda. -- 01:46, 30 June 2008

except I do not and have never worked for the BBC or any affiliated organisation. At the same time, can I perhaps remind everyone that talk pages are for discussing improvements to articles, not expressing your personal opinions about other editors or the organisation/individual the article is about? Pit-yacker (talk) 18:19, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

As a PS to, if your issue is with BBC employees wasting time when they should be working, as [4] suggests, I suggest you take this issue up directly with the BBC rather than dirupting talk pages with off topic posts. Pit-yacker 12:20, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I will read. Bear with me as I am still learning how to do this.
Incidentally, would the Bush edit be against the House Rules? It's a childish thing for anyone at the BBC to do. 10:39, 15 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)
I'm not sure whether you use the same IP all the time, but (esp if you dont) it might make things easier for yourself if you register. I guess you could also then put a note on your user page that you work for the BBC. The opinions of registered users also tend to get more respect than those of anonymous IP users - if only because it is easy to hop IP addresses and make the same opinions from one user on multiple addresses and there also isnt any record of an anon user's previous record - meaning you also get tarred by vandalism that comes from your IP. Pit-yacker 12:25, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Will do. 10:39, 15 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)
I don't think the bush "wanker" edit violates house rules except as vandalism(and I actually thought it was kind of funny but not expecially mature or productive), nor the one that some BBC employee did calling a group using violence against civilians to make a political point "freedom fighters". The only problem is that someone from BBC should not edit negative stuff about BBC out of an article because that is WP:COI. (I understand that you thought it was bad info, but still...). Bigglove 13:58, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

If the info is inaccurate can I edit it even if I have a COI? The particular point is about the Evenming Standard's report about the Impartiality report, which was worded as though their interpretation of the report was a quote from the report, which it wasn't. 10:39, 15 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)
So long as you can cite sources that back you up - if it's blatently untrue, and it's unlikely anyone will disagree (ie. vandalism), then that's not a problem. It's when edits are made that are possibly contraversial, or that not everyone would agree with, that it becomes a problem. Basically, reliable sources will be your friend ;) TheIslander 14:18, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I really hope the BBC doesn't have to be reminded that reliable sources are important --Lucid 14:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear, very good point... TheIslander 14:24, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, you (or someone from an anon IP) completely 1) removed a ref from the article and 2) removed something that said that BBC editors said they would would be more sensitive about insulting muslims than about insulting jews or christians and 3) inserted an unreferenced statement saying that publications about the bbc were biased. Please see the diffs below. Are you really correctly characterizing this as removing "inaccurate" information, or is it just stuff you don't like? I think that what you are actually doing is censoring wikipedia. I think you are doing this out of good faith and helpfulness, but as a BBC employee you should probably realize the COI and desist. [5] and [6]. Bigglove 14:36, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Let's take these examples in turn. 1. Both those quotes are inaccurate. It's their interpretation of the report and you won't find those statement anywhere in the actual report itself. Which is why I removed them. 2. This reference is I think to the impartiality seminar. I watched the seminar live on the web, in particular the section about Room 101 and I did not hear any editor saying this. 3. I said the seminar was "misreported". Many of the papers who reported it were not there and simply rehashed articles by some of the people who were. The reports in many of the papers did not match up with what I actually saw with my own eyes. Perhaps "reported inaccurately" would be better.

A full transcript of the seminar is now available as part of the impartiality report. I will check it whenever I have time, but I bet the transcript will not support most of the things the papers said happened and are now in Wikipedia.

Is the best way for me to provide text like "this assertion is unsupported by the transcript of the impartiality seminar in the Bridcut Report" plus a link? 10:39, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Nick Reynolds (BBC)

I also work at the BBC and have made many edits to Wikipedia sadly mostly to C86, Indie Pop and er, The Likely Lads which may or may not have been a conflict of interest ;) I think Nick is genuinely trying to engage with the community here and should be respected as such. Correcting errors and directing users to new sources and transcripts that could improve and verify some of the assertions. My issue about the article is just how so non notable some of it is. If this really is supposed to be an article about BBC criticisms then whole paragraphs on wikipedia entries and something as trivial as the John Redwood report (in the context of 2007) and several other incidents in the last few months, year are hardly reflective of its 80(ish) year history of the corporation. What about Falklands ? Libya, Miners Strike, Churchill during world war two, the general strike, radio vs commercial radio, (not just iPlayer but its entire funding/existence), the work of the Glasgow Media group in the 80s (BBC bias but from the left), dumbing down criticisms go back for decades (thorn birds in the 80s). Its not exactly comprehensive at the moment. So someone in the BBC has added the word wanker to george bush' article briefly in a internet encyclopaedia. Embarrassing as it is (for the BBC ) then hardly notable. As for BBC related entries then yep. clearly its a conflict of interest to edit them (although i've corrected errors to a few in the past. i added, for example the names of the existing Exec Board in BBC ). Best practice is to leave or suggest changes here (with sources) and see/hope if someone picks them up in the actual article.

I think the main thrust of the criticism here is that there is somehow a conspiracy or active work to change articles using 'anonymous' IP addresses, instructed from above. clearly thats ridiculous. There are 24,000 people (and many freelancers) working at the BBC at any one time. All (well nearly all) of whom have access to the internet and a PC on their desk. Now have some users innocently corrected or stupidly vandalised some of the 1.5m articles. Have some (as I have) tweaked C81 or something else that they care about in office hours ? Has Jimmy Wales gone in and edited his own entry to change dates, remove paragraphs, alter words. er, yes.

I think the BBC needs to clean up its approach to editing wikipedia and I'd hope that future edit(ors) all register, clearly (as our guidance currently states) state on their biography page that they work for the BBC and they avoid editing article pages for articles related to the BBC or their work. But this is evolving stuff. Our response so far. contributing to talk pages, blog articles and links showing how we've responded , admitting that we've made mistakes here is at least attempting to be transparent and open about our approach. (Jem Stone) Jem 08:27, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


I was the first one to post in this section, and for the record, I don't think that the BBC OFFICIALLY removed crit of tbe BBC from the BBC page or that there is any evil conspiracy going on. Neverless, the edits removing critical information were highly unfortunate. I am sure this was the work of a well intentioned BBC employee who well, feels good about the BBC and edited accordingly. I looked through the anon BBC entries on wikipedia when the software achieved prominence on the blogsphere becasue I could (and also because many of the orgs I REALLY wanted to check up on DON'T make their IP ranges public and BBC does). For the record, it looks like the BBC made many helpful informational edits to many pages, fixing BBC links, etc. I think the net effect is a positive one, but on the pages of crit to the BBC one really needs to avoid COI if one works for the BBC. Bigglove 19:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The Beeb staff mag., Ariel, has an article about Wikipedia this week, which may be of interest - I've reproduced it here - and with their permission. Zir 15:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC) (who has never edited the Criticism of the BBC article!)

Trevor Asserson and Cassie Williams are described as "right-wing Israeli nationals." Why is it no one else in the piece is described with their political "wing" or nationality? What defines them as right-wing, other than the fact that they disagree with the writer? I'm sure a few characters in this piece could accurately be described as "left-wing Brits" were a standard of fairness employed.

Re: editing GWB's entry with wanker comment, I personally think 90% of the staff of the BBC and the entire British royal family, in particular Prince Charles, are wankers, but I don't feel the need to express that in their wikipedia entries. That kind of behavior is juvenile and says a lot about the professionalism, or lack thereof, of the BBC. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.


The Article is heavily biased, and makes no mention that many countries past and present have called the BBC Biased often dictators and murderers, everyone from the USSR to Zimbabwe, and that being called biased by such people is a badge of honour especially when its both side calling you biased, but most of the criticism come down to people and nations being unhappy with stories that make them look bad being covered. ultimately the BBC is the most trusted news service in the world and that has to say something about its strident efforts for neutrality and Accuracy. The article itself is my its very nature biased, and criticism articles should be avoided, but i agree with the undue weight comment, as it comes across written by a right wing Israel supporting westerner, since there are no mention any places in Asia Major or Africa with equal weight or of countries like Zimbabwe or Burma both of whom accuse the BBC of bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

First off, your comments would be much easier to read if you would use conventional punctuation and capitalization. Second, this article only deals with criticisms with some degree of credibility. If a large number of ordinary citizens in Israel think that that the BBC is biased against them, then whether or not you agree or disagree with such a criticism, it's still on a very different level from a Mugabe spokesman complaining about BBC bias against the government of Zimbabwe. Third, the BBC is an organization with international reach, so devoting appropriate space to those international controversies which have arisen is not "disproportionate weight". Fourth, the term "Asia Major" does not appear to have been commonly used in English-language geographical terminology during the 20th and 21st centuries... AnonMoos (talk) 14:41, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
first off well thats rude, i'm Dyspraxic so thanks for being a nice person, why not get wiki to include a spag checker? but please point the specific thing you find difficult and i'll do my best to explain the point. second you shouldn't remove a dispute tag unilaterial ever, perhaps learns some basic manners Third where does it say a large number of ordinary citizens in Israel, wheres your source for that? you have the government and media of Israel complaining and the government and media of Zimbabwe or do black people protests count less? Fourth but the countroversies from countries that aren't white majority don't matter? Fifth is that your argument you don't think its a common term? if i had simple said asia you could of pointed out that Israel is in asia, so i used a term that excludes the middle east, its a perfectly cromulent phrase! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Dude, I'm sorry that you have problems, but your failure to use ordinary conventions of English-language writing makes your remarks extremely difficult to parse and understand. The burden is really on you to place your comments in a comprehensible form. And I didn't intend to remove any "dispute tags" -- as part of the reversions, I removed an extremely pointless sentence which seemed to attempt to confuse and obscure the distinction between credible and non-credible criticism (in addition to not even beginning with a capital letter!), as well a rather meaningless and unhelpful citation tag (please give me one good reason why we need a formal citation for the excruciatingly obvious fact that many millions consider Arafat to be a sleazy slimeball??). However, on further examining the diffs, I see that you did add a POV tag (which I didn't notice previously). I'll leave that in (for now), in order to allow for the possibility that you might be able to state your apparent objections in a more coherent form in the near future... AnonMoos (talk) 20:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
And i sorry about yours, yet you have yet to say what exactly you failed to understand. credible and non credible is merely your opinion, "excruciatingly obvious fact that many millions consider Arafat to be a sleazy slimeball" Again your opinion if you want to include such a pov statement in wikipedia you need a source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with my opinion of Arafat (or with your opinion of Arafat, for that matter), but with the indisputable fact that he has been a despised hate-figure to millions (by no means all of whom live in Israel). It's really not worth debating, and your addition of a fact tag is pointless and unhelpful to the improvement of this article. AnonMoos (talk) 17:02, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Individuals or groups who receive negative coverage (no matter how factual or true), such as the government of Zimbabwe, are of course going to complain about the BBC. But that isn't the same as a truly controversial issue, where there are complaints from many ordinary listeners/viewers, and from groups other than those being reported on. Complaints about BBC middle east coverage form a convoluted and highly contentious issue of many years standing, which involves many groups, many individuals, and a number of semi-distinct sub-controversies, some of which have given rise to legal disputes. By contrast, complaints about BBC coverage of Zimbabwe pretty much emanate only from spokesmen close to Mugabe. So I really fail to see what the point of conflating complaints about Zimbabwe coverage with complaints about middle-east coverage is. This article is not really for isolated self-interested complaints such as those by Mugabe spokesmen, but only for real controversies. AnonMoos (talk) 14:38, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Individuals or groups who receive negative coverage (no matter how factual or true) so why is the complaints of an African government? any different to those voiced by Israel or Russia? As for one man just because you only know one man in the Zimbabwe government doesn't mean the situation is not complex, your showing clear POV and you're ignorance is only compounding it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Didn't you even bother to read what I wrote directly above? Where I explained in detail that controversies over BBC mid-east coverage are most definitely NOT merely a matter of complaints by Israeli government spokesmen?? So far you have raised absolutely no issues above which are worthy of serious consideration with respect to improving this article. Maybe you should adjust your approach so that you are able to meaningfully discuss improvements to this article, or you should confine your efforts to areas of Wikipedia where you are able to contribute in a constructive and productive manner (but unfortunately for you, usefully comparing controversies over BBC Zimbabwe coverage vs. BBC mid-east coverage does not seem to be one of those areas). Why not start by registering for a Wikipeda account and logging in. AnonMoos (talk) 16:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Not only is disproportionate weight given to modern claims, But there is even a single section on the any of the accusations leveled by Irish Republicans of bias, which has to be the BBC's longest running allegation.

By the way, several older or longstanding issues are in the BBC controversies article. I'm not entirely sure what the intended division of labor is between BBC controversies and Criticism of the BBC (or why there has to be two articles), but this article seems to cover more of the recent or current issues... AnonMoos (talk) 17:44, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Trade Unions

As above no mention is made of the Unions allegations in the 80s

To be honest I have more or less give in trying to get any semblance of balance to this article. Due to the persisant attempts by certain parties to make particular political points, it is IMHO all but unsalvagable. I'm probably making these comments in vain, but perhaps someone might wake up and listen one day.
FWIW, I find this article highly POV, I'll also repeat my point that I think this article is one of the worst written and researched on the entire project. For example, in the Jerry Springer the Opera article describing showing the show as "defamation of Christianity" is a POV. It is perhaps revealing (and typically missing from this article) that the ultimate result of the said private prosecution might be that the laws on blasphemy in the UK are repealed. This isn't a move afoot by a leftie government (on the contrary, Gordon "son of a preacher man" Brown opposes the repeal) its a move which has even garnered the support of a former and quite conservative Arch-Bishop of Canterbury who said in a letter to the Telegraph "...the blasphemy offence serves no useful purpose. Yet it allows partisan organisations or well-funded individuals to try to censor broadcasters or intimidate small theatres, print media or publishers"[7] Sound familiar at all?
Equally, whilst not wanting to get into an Israel/Palestine debate and whilst I do acknowledge Arafat was at one time undoubtly a terrorist, and putting aside the maxim of one man's freedom fighter.., if I take my typical approach of not assuming malice where incompetence will equally suffice, I would be inclined to believe that problems in his latter years were more down to incompetence, weakness, and lack of will to act than outright malice.
In the same breath why not include references to Sinn Fein? Fine Martin McGuiness is a convicted terrorist, IIRC reputed at one time to be one of the bosses of the IRA, but he also happens to be education minister for Northern Ireland. So what's the difference between him and Arafat?
It is even more bizarre that Sinn Fein's (the second largest party - AND - member of the governing administration of Northern Ireland) gripes dont get a mention yet the far-right and extreme minority BNP do? So what is the difference there? (Other than of course Sinn Fein's accusations show a degree of conservativism on the part of the BBC - that would contradict the view that certain editors try to project from this article that the BBC is liberal, left leaning, etc.). FWIW, there have long been allegations (World in Action, ITV, for one IIRC) about links between the BNP and even less "pleasant" far right groups (if the BNP can be described as "pleasant") such as Combat 18 or the National Front. You generally dont have to look far to find the odd BNP councillor (of the handful that exist) being convicted of various thuggery either.
What is more, AFAICT, the sentiments of Sinn Fein probably more accurately reflect the whole of the Republican and wider catholic community in Northern Ireland, many of whom regard the British as occupiers. Whilst you can argue that, given the dis-taste for being part of the UK in some quarters some in Northern Ireland would complain whatever, it is a credible argument that as a public service broadcaster the BBC should serve all - its an argument, whether the perception was real or not that was the ultimate downfall of the RUC, and saw UK soldiers being killed by UK nationals for 3 decades.
Pit-yacker (talk) 19:47, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

excellent points! and very well put. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I note that this articles page has recently blocked unregistered users from editing (which i think should be applied to all pages by default but that's another matter) as a result of an anonymous contributor's novitiate actions and also repeated posting of the following text

Though i don't agree or not with the inference if any of the preceding statement it does seem to be a sensible and correct observation and surely it could be included somewhere in the article, preferably in a criticism by governments section rather than attached to a particular specific controversy. Giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming good faith on balance i am inclined to leave content in an article and see how it may develop rather than throwing out possibly promising new directions because they conflict with a temporary stylistic stasis. The arguments against inclusion seem less than generous particularly as this kernel could be developed further and to other associated areas, for instance that most governments or centres of power whether democratic or otherwise object to negative criticism and whether not being criticised by governments shows a reporting culture in favour of traditional power systems.

For instance consider the following quote from John Pilger which is notable not because its an example of a flavour of the week fashionable 'controversy' but because its shows that the article can be developed with a focus on topics such as impartiality, objectivity or the relationship of traditional media to power. Now i don't know whether the following quote shows a left wing bias or a conservative bias or some other bias for that matter but such assertions are often meaningless except for what they say about the claimants beliefs.

If someone is, after reading this quote, considering placing it within an Iraq war section then you have missed the point. Its an example, somewhat lengthy, about a general pattern or policy such as the myth of impartiality or balance and how real practise varies from a supposed ideal of 'professional journalism'.

This article is about criticism not controversies however fashionable or heated.

--Theo Pardilla 11:56, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the anonymous IP person seems to be adding the Zimbabwe sentence for the specific purpose of blurring and obfuscating the difference between credible criticism and non-credible criticism. If the anonymous IP person is not adding the Zimbabwe sentence in order to obscure the difference, then he or she has certainly been completely unable to articulate a coherent alternative explanation here on this talk page for his or her motivations. Something could be added about outraged dictators and tyrants in the proper context and the proper place, but that place is not an unelaborated context-free sentence in the paragraph at the very top of the article. Also, many people don't see as clear a difference between "criticism" and "controversies" as you do (as seen from the repeated article merge proposals).AnonMoos (talk) 15:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
That seems fair enough. Is this repeated behaviour sufficient to warrant a request for the article to be semi-protected from anonymous contributors (that is does it meet the criteria) and if it is can someone who knows how to nominate it do so. --Theo Pardilla 03:26, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't oppose the article being semi-protected, but in my experience, requesting such a change at WP:RFP is completely and utterly useless unless the article is being flooded with vandalism at the moment the request is being made. AnonMoos (talk) 16:17, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

BBC Have Your Say Criticisms

don't you think there should be a section in the 'Criticism of the BBC' article regarding the fact that the BBC gets frequently criticized for alleged liberal left and pro labour bias by its users in the BBC 'Have Your Say' Section and the fact that a lot of the user names (in the BBC HYS section) gets named referring BBC bias or anti-labour eg. " NuLab's Clown for all seasons, BBC HQ - State enforced news agency for NuLab and Liberal Left Drivel, United Kingdom " . read some of the comments posted in this page : you'll find most users regard the BBC as a "left wing, politically correct and propaganda." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xyn1 (talkcontribs) 06:44, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Some of the stuff here seems pretty trivial and/or partisan

I've started trying to pick through some of it but it's a little dispiriting, and a daunting prospect on top of that. A lot of this article is just a harvest of quotes from one off editorials or op-eds in newspapers, or criticism from fringe/self-published or partisan sources, such as BBCWatch and CAMERA, relating to elements of BBC news reporting. How notable is most of this stuff, really? --Nickhh (talk) 17:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

BBC coverage of mid-east matters stirs passionate debate and accusations, and has done so for decades now. If such debate spills over into protests, lawsuits, and publicity flaps which receive media coverage, then they can be included in this article - whether or not anyone agrees with everything that CAMERA says... AnonMoos (talk) 19:43, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't denying there isn't debate and controversy, nor did I say that I disagree with a lot of what CAMERA tends to say (although I do as it happens). The point is that a lot of the quotes and examples here are not notable or sustained criticisms, they're one-off comments buried in Telegraph comment pieces, or pressure group alerts about individual pieces of BBC reporting. This article - if it is too exist at all, and I'm always pretty sceptical about "Criticisms of .." articles - should really only focus on notable or significant criticisms. --Nickhh (talk) 20:34, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Alleged pro-American bias

On 30 July 2008 I inserted a paragraph on "Alleged pro-American bias". This was quickly removed and replaced by "Alleged Anti-China bias and forgery". I think there is a case to be made for "Alleged pro-American bias" and it provides balance to "Alleged anti-American bias". Does anybody else agree? Biscuittin (talk) 11:44, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I didn't remove the paragraph, but whoever did remove it probably did so because it mostly seemed to complain about a few vocabulary items ("truck" vs. "lorry"), and about the metric system -- which is by no means used to the exclusion of non-metric measurements in Britain itself. AnonMoos (talk) 21:41, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't agree as this paragraph did not describe a Pro-American bias, but was complaining about style issues. As opposed to the section on an alleged anti-American bias, which is about the content and the slant of their news coverage. Furthermore, no citations are provided, making this section look more lik rant based on personal observations. Novidmarana (talk) 06:00, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Alleged anit-China bias and forgery

So a nationwide newspaper is "unreliable" while religious brochure like "Epoch times" sounds convincing, as you previously stated? Or is it simply because it's a chinese source? The BBC reports mentioned did not provide many other solid evidences besides this photo, so it's not a simple "general picture", but a central supporting material. Helloterran (talk) 07:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

It is not a as much a matter of reliable sources, but of notability. How does the criticm by a xenophobic and ultranationalistic website and a passing mention in a Chinese newspaper are notable? Especially as they criticise only a single BBC news report and not the general slant of the BBC news coverage. And this is even irrespective of that the newspaper article does not support the frivolous claim of an anti-chinese bias, let alone forgery. At most the newspaper article supports the claim that the BBC is using general pictures to illustrate articles. Novidmarana (talk) 13:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's not up to you to judge the nature and POV of other sources/editors, none of us have that right. Oherwise you might have been blocked infinitely for your obvious sinophobia, with the consent of many editors. Helloterran (talk) 03:59, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so I see you are unwilling to discuss the content, but apparently you are more than willing to make ad-hominem attacks and allegations of sinophobia. In fact, you are not even willing to read what I write what makes it very hard to discuss anything with you. Novidmarana (talk) 05:11, 28 August 2008 (UTC)


Can we provide some context in the opening paragraph. Some of the material on the BBC main page seems to be somewhat suited for that purpose. At the moment this is just a random collection of criticism. Голубое сало/Blue Salo (talk) 13:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

First of all throw out all the Wikipedia related stuff, as if Wikipedia is the center of the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The edits of Wikipedia from BBC computers may not be of earth-shattering importance, but they made news and attracted criticism... AnonMoos (talk) 03:17, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Corporate greed and executives pay

I would like to add a section documenting the extraordinary amounts senior exectives pay themselves and so-called "stars" out of taxpayers' money and give an account of the recent widely reported criticisms of these grotesque amounts, both before and after the Russell Brand/Jonathon Ross scandal and the publicity involving David Cameron's comments about the millions being spent. Anyone willing to help? I believe that it is possible to keep this NPOV but am myself hardly a good volunteer for this task as I am so deeply disgusted at the revelations of corruption, cronyism and personal greed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Repeated adding of beebwatch site as a "reference"

None of the statements this "reference" is being added for on various BBC related articles are in anyway supported by the text on the linked webpage. It appears the only reason for using this link is an attempt at linkspamming that wont be noticed as clearly on watchlists. I am also puzzled at the changing of the word "others" to "charities" when, AFAICT, according to the charities commission, this website is not a charity, does not claim to be, (nor IIUC could it ever be).

On a second, but irrelevant to the current issue, point of quite whether this website, one that: 1. What appears to be a personal site (given domain registration details). 2. Starts out with the statement that the BBC has a left-wing bias and requests evidence to prove this rather than looking at all output across the board and drawing conclusions as whole. 3. Immediately reveals that its real agenda is the abolition of the licence fee, saying this is the most important thing for people to do.

can ever be considered a reliable source on issues related to the BBC is an entirely different matter of debate.Pit-yacker (talk) 01:53, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

From what I see a significant chunk of sources are in fact BBCnews, and the rest competing British-based publishers. I know all groups are biased and partisan to an extent, but this article is about criticisms of BBC. Of course people are going to not some things about it, so if anyone here has an issue, please, please please highlight whatever section/issue and post it. Or, better yet, edit it yourself and then post your reasoning here.

But try to be specific and not just say "It doesn't have a pro-china bias."  : ) Wikifan12345 (talk) 21:05, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not entirely sure what you are getting at here? As a British based broadcaster, in particular the UK's PSB why shouldnt sources come from British based sources? I can assure you that the British have little or no deference to anything and bringing those in positions of power/influence down a peg or ten is somewhat of a national sport. The BBC is in no way an exception. As for the use of the BBC as source for stories about itself. Perhaps ironically, as one of the few UK based sites that provides large amounts of comprehensive news coverage with free access and the *highly* partisan nature of a number of members of the British press (both left and right wing), BBC News is often the best place to go to get a reliable reference for a story about the BBC. Pit-yacker (talk) 00:30, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I know, I'm agreeing with you. Some people are accusing the article of being woefully biased, but a borderline majority of sources are BBC. Is BBC biased against itself?

And keep in mind, whenever referencing a focus or advocacy group; such as CAMERA, the article always denotes the organizations agenda. Like the last paragraph in "In 2008 the BBC was accused by the pro-Israel pressure group CAMERA of falsifying reports related to the aftermath of the Mercaz HaRav massacre. The BBC later apologised for incorrectly showing footage that they had said showed one of the perpetrator's houses being demolished. [27]"

I think I might modify the term pressure group because it implies a negative connotation that isn't suitable. CAMERA is media watchdog group, and even though they have demonstrated several pressure group-qualities, it would be unfair to label them as such, especially in this example. We don't label strong pro-Palestinian organizations that have comparable style of agenda to CAMERA as pressure groups on wikipedia, as far as I know at least.

anyways. Wikifan12345 (talk) 01:56, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Please clarify:

"The BBC is striving for 12.5% of its staff to be from a black and minority ethnic background[9]. This over 4 percent higher than the current percentage of ethnic minorities in the UK"

Does this mean '4 PERCENTAGE POINTS higher'?? Because that would make more sense....... Eugene-elgato (talk) 23:20, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

There's balance, and then there's balance...

This article seems to go to great lengths to "balance" the criticism of the BBC. This seems to lend rather undue weight to certain sides of the argument.

For example, the consensus is much more in favour of the position that the BBC has a left-wing bias than a right-wing one. Any attempt to equate these 2 claims looks suspiciously like an effort to "cancel out" accusations of bias by showing them to come from all sides. (talk) 15:48, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Sex Crimes and the Vatican

I have read claims that BBC has a liberal bias on religion (needs research) ; notably because it aired the episode Sex Crimes and the Vatican on the Panorama series. ADM (talk) 01:42, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Some (such as many of the Jerry Springer protesters) would claim that the BBC is liberal and boldly critical when it comes to Christianity, but delicately sensitive and timidly self-censoring when it comes to most other religions... AnonMoos (talk) 02:42, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Iran elections

As requested, am bringing this to talk, but I don't see there's much to discuss. An anon editor added a story about some people complaining about a picture on a BBC article being attributed as a pro-one-party demonstration, when it was actually from a pro-other-party rally. The addition also included a link to a statement from the BBC apologising for the mistake, and confirming that it had been corrected and the correction acknowledged in the original article. In other words: simple mistake, quickly corrected, nothing worthy of note.

Even if it was worthy of note, the manner of its addition was entirely out of line, using phrases such as "despite anti-Israel bias" and "false reporting" and "found to mislead its audience". Removal of such POV and partial commentary does not require discussion.

The anon also immediately made bad faith accusations of vandalism and instructed me to take it to the talk page. I suggest reading WP:BRD. If you want to make a contentious edit, YOU need to discuss it once it has been reverted. GDallimore (Talk) 16:19, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

climate change

I've made a change in this area as Paxman's article was being misrepresented

This article is about criticism of the BBC. The source article suggests that partiality may be necessary in the case of climate change just as the BBC shows partiality about racism, it is not a criticism of that partiality. The selective use of the quote in this article implied that Paxman thought that the bbc was lacking impartiality and so exitbiting bias. These are two different things

Also the rest of this section appears to be no more than a criticism of a campaign which never happened surley not worthy of inclusion? The BBC must have thousands of projects that never get off the drawing board. Pete the pitiless (talk) 22:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Right Bias

Why is there no mention of the BBC right wing bias? it has always supported the establishment, was far heavy in its criticism of labour governments than tory ones, and has had always maintained a unionist position against republican and nationalist politicians. This article seems to bias it makes no mentions of the bush adminstration pro BBC stance as the only counter to Al Jazeri in the muslim world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Secular criticism

Nothing on secular criticism of the BBC using public money to produce religious programming? It's quite a big criticism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be a bias towards Roman Catholicism. The present Director-General is RC, as was John Birt. And on the BBC website over a period of three years 75% of pictures of "Christians celebrating Palm Sunday" and Easter were of RCs. Ausseagull (talk) 13:34, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

BBC news reports on Israeli aggression always lead with Israeli TV news footage

BBC claim to show impartiality in disputes between Palestinians and Israelis yet is never able to be critical of any Isreal's action including the latest act of piracy and murder on the high seas. However they nearly always support their TV reports of outrageous Israeli aggression against Palestinians with Israeli gathered TV news footage. We are often deceived into thinking the images that the BBC are leading with are impartial or neutral. Israeli news footage should not be presented as if it is BBC's own news footage. In the 31 May 2010 incident where Israeli paratroopers boarded a Turkish vessel bring aid to Gaza they used Israeli footage of their troops coming under attack from passengers. Some footage was clearly produced in an Israeli studio showing troops beaten with iron bars. The standard practice in all such incidents would be to show seriously wounded soldiers to support the killing of 8 peace protesters as justification preventing loss of Israeli lives but of course there were no images to back-up this central Israeli propaganda claim that soldiers were taking a vicious beating. It is in this that the BBC can be seen to be lightly critical whilst remaining fundamentally loyal to the Israeli cause. In this example from the Israeli accusations are given absolute prominence even as the alleged aggressors and counter claims by the victims dwindle off into insignificance.

[Israel says its soldiers boarded the lead ship in the early hours but were attacked with axes, knives, bars and at least two guns. "Unfortunately this group were dead-set on confrontation," Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told the BBC. "Live fire was used against our forces. They initiated the violence, that's 100% clear," he said. Organisers of the flotilla said at least 30 people were wounded in the incident. Israel says 10 of its soldiers were injured, one seriously. Deputy Speaker of Israeli parliament Danny Danon: "It was not a peaceful mission" A leader of Israel's Islamic Movement, Raed Salah, who was on board, was among those hurt. Contact with activists on the ships was lost after the raids and no first-hand accounts from them have yet emerged. Arafat Shoukri, of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) which organised the convoy, said those on board one ship had told them by telephone that Israeli helicopters had arrived. "Then we started to hear screams, shouting, shooting everywhere," he said. "We heard some of them shouting 'we are raising the white flag, stop shooting at us'." He said Israeli claims that activists had pistols and other weapons were "cheap propaganda". Audrey Bomse, also of the FGM, told the BBC that the activists were "not going to pose any violent resistance". By midday Israel had towed three of the six boats to the port of Ashdod and says it will deport the passengers from there.]

This demonstrates a clear case of taking the Israeli side while appearing impartial. (talk) 10:00, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Whatever -- Auntie Beeb was merely reporting what it was that official Israeli government spokesmen said. That doesn't remotely justify the ranting tirade that you previously added to the article. If you think this is important, then you should find reliable sources expressing criticism of BBC coverage -- and not merely add an expression of your own personal opinions to the article. AnonMoos (talk) 14:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Don't quite understand your objection - of course it is my opinion. Can't see any logic to your suggestion that my understanding of BBC bias would best be served by a reliable criticism and not by my personal opinion. If you read the criticism you'd see that my opinion is a reliable source because it is supported by empirical evidence. I think you are saying you do not agree but can't quite find a logical point to argue on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Whatever -- the original version of your comments above (as they stood when I originally replied to them) was pretty much a ranting tirade, and you followed it with a rather dense paragraph of unformatted condensed cuttings-and-pastings from the BBC site (without a supporting URL, by the way), which does not prove your point in any direct or obvious manner, because it says nothing about TV. In any case, my original point still stands -- if you're the only one who has noticed a certain claimed pattern, then general standing Wikipedia policies decree that in the great majority of cases such a pattern should not be mentioned in Wikipedia articles... AnonMoos (talk) 11:45, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
If anything, the BBC is regarded as rabidly anti-israeli. Just read through the article. This is also my personal opinion. But personal opinions do not count on Wikipedia because of WP:OR. We need reliable sources for anything that is put into an article.Civilizededucation (talk) 16:50, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

99% of BBC presenters are public schoolboys

How can it be justified that nearly all voices coming out of BBC are public school educated. You hear the same nasal public school twangs from a monty don, a griff rhys jones, a michael palin, a rick stein, a clarkson, a rory mcgrath, a marc urban, a peter snow, a paxman, a dimblebee, an attenborough, a simon shcama, an andrew graham-dixon, a john simpson, a euen davis, a titmarsh, a bill odie, a dan cruishank, a jeremy vine, a clive anderson, a stephen fry, an ian hislop, a david mitchell, an alexander armstrong, an andy hamilton, a nicholas parsons, a michael makintyre, a john humphries oh and the one female that sounds like a blend of them all jo brand and you just got to love her cousin (?) russell brand who tries to disguise his painful public school origins by 'tryin to sound common' - the list is endless and quite excruciaing to those of us of humble birth - a few grammar school exceptions like a merton, a childs, a lineker or, a ross do not constitute balance. Clearly a case of the upper classes 'parasiting' off the majority of licence fee payers who are from the poorer classes. Chenzxl (talk) 00:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Anyone claiming 99% is a bit dodgy, not least since 99% of presenters are not male ("boys"). John Humppreys for one was not a "public school". Many years ago I heard the BBC described as being "full of 'public school and Oxbridge types' ", but the reply was "well grammar school and Oxbridge actually". Ausseagull (talk) 13:29, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Do you have anything other than your opinion to back this up? If not, it doesn't belong in the article. I'm inclined to say your list is a little selective as it features a number of people who only feature on the BBC irregularly or rarely. If I had the time or inclination to bother, I could probably come up with a list of people who feature on the BBC just as regularly (e.g. Chris Evans and Chris Moyles have daily shows.) and were state educated. If there is a large proportion of privately educated employees, I'm guessing it is more to be an indictment of British society as a whole, and similar organisations and careers are likely to have similar ratios. BTW, Paul Merton for one, went to secondary modern not a Grammar school.
Note to Non-Brits: In the UK, public school = private school, not a state run school.
Pit-yacker (talk) 17:07, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Paul Merton wnet to Wimbledon College this is not a secondary modern school. Old Wimbledonians would turn in their graves at tsuch a notion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so he went to a Comprehensive having failed the eleven plus. I'm not familiar with the local circumstances, but ignoring the fact that the school wasn't a Grammar school at the time, how would he have get into a grammar having failed the eleven plus? Also (IMHO) the existence of local grammar creates a de-facto secondary modern, regardless of what it is officially labelled as.Pit-yacker (talk) 11:57, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
My only knowledge is of BBC World, but they don't all sound ultra-posh to me. A few years back, they had someone with a rather strong Scottish accent reading the half-hourly news on BBC World radio newscasts... AnonMoos (talk) 10:16, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Most of the Scottish voices are similarly from the elite nasal tones of public school educated scotsmen. THe Beeb needs more common voices on music radio like Moyles and Evans (still public school educated)to hook in young under-developed educationally maturing minds. This soften them to the idea that more BBC is representative of society at large. The real elitism is hidden by carefully concealing that all these other Beeb regulars are connected through the old school tie network. Of course all of this sounds like opinion but there is a verifiable context to this just check the school back grounds of the majority of beeb regulars and there you have it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Unless there is a verifiable source saying precisely that a disproportionate number of the BBC's "stars" are privately educated, then it would be either Original Research or synthesis to use the background of a number of people to draw such a conclusion in a WP article. Either way it violates policy. On a s separate note, AFAIK, Evans and Moyles were stated educated. But on the point of it perhaps being reflective of the British society as a whole, need I point out that a sizeable number of the present government went to Eton College. Even in the Labour Party, every leadership candidate is Oxbridge educated. Both of which appear to be much more verifiable. Pit-yacker (talk) 11:57, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Encyclopedical article ?

Well, even if everything in this article is the truth, the whole thruth and nothing but the truth - is "Criticism of the BBC" really an encyclopedical article ? It would not accour in any other encyclopedia. What's next ? An article of "criticism of the gunners midfield " perhaps ? (talk) 06:05, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

If there are significant protests or political controversies which are covered in mainstream news outlets (sometimes by the BBC itself, as you'll notice if you look at the footnotes), then I don't see why there can't be a Wikipedia article about it. AnonMoos (talk) 11:52, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Admission to Anti-Christian bias

Hi, I've just registered and this is my first point, so please go easy on me if I do something wrong. I won't change anything on the page itself.

I was arguing on a blog about the BBC and got pointed to the "Admission to Anti-Christian bias" section. The supporting link doesn't really seem to support the assertions in the section.

The section says: "The BBC has admitted (2006) of being biased, of cultural liberal bias,[32] biased on relgion and on politics[33] The internal memo, discovered by the British media, revealed that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment."

The MailOnline article, however, attributes the "cultural liberal bias" quote to Andrew Marr, who is not "The BBC". The Mail's article is based upon a "leaked account" of a meeting. Is it OK to base parts of encyclopaedia articles on leaked memos? Is the memo genuine? How do we know it's genuine? Was the meeting of sufficient importance to be able to attribute anything said there to "The BBC"? A group of executives and high profile presenters isn't necessarily representative of "The BBC".

I also think "guilty of promoting Left-wing views" isn't very neutral. Being left-wing isn't a crime! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theresonator (talkcontribs) 18:44, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't get indenting to work! I appear to have picked a section which is in a bit of a mess for my first time on Wikipedia. The section contains two sources. The Mail talks about "A leaked account" and a "secret meeting". The Evening Standard talks about details being "leaked". The article reflects this sense of secrecy by saying "The internal memo, discovered by the British media". It wasn't a memo. It was a seminar. And the seminar was streamed live on the web, so it wasn't a secret at all. The pdf of the seminar transcript is available here:

And the pdf brings me to the next point. The claims that the "Admission to Anti-Christian bias" section makes about what was actually said. All "admissions" are credited to "The BBC". The first admission is of "cultural liberal bias" and that was made by Andrew Marr. The next is that the BBC is "biased on relgion and on politics". Without more specificity, it's difficult to know what they are referring to. Maybe this part refers to what the sources (Mail and Evening Standard} say. Both sources say that the BBC executives would screen a Bible being thrown away on a fictional episode of Room 101, but wouldn't show a Koran being thrown away. But reading the transcript, although Alan Yentob umms and ahhs about whether throwing the Koran away would cause greater offence, most of those involved seem to say that throwing the Bible or Koran away would be unacceptable.

I think this section is so full of errors that it might as well be deleted, but I don't want to, or know how to, do that. Theresonator (talk) 21:30, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I've deleted it, and I must say I was rather pleased to note that the reference numbers and table of contents auto update. Wootcannon (talk) 03:27, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

More edits from me, because it seems that other material was added by the person who added this section, and all three things I have deleted referred to the admission of liberal bias in 2006 by the BBC (Not sourced, and as far as I am aware, nonexistent), and referred to articles that were essentially opinion pieces. Wootcannon (talk) 03:44, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Deleted content was

The BBC has admitted (2006) of being biased, of cultural liberal bias,[2] biased on religion and on politics[3] The internal memo, discovered by the British media, revealed that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.[citation needed]

BBC's admission to liberal bias in 2006, has highlighted what "The British Broadcasting Corporation has been struggling for several years against criticisms and claims of biased reporting concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and distorted coverage of the global fight against terror," explained Ynet.[4]

Not well attributed, but that can be changed, rather than deleted. Christopher Connor (talk) 04:37, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

The first paragraph is already covered in more detail elsewhere in the article. It is under political correctness where it probably belongs if it is going to be in the article at all. As for the second paragraph, there are already a number of sections on the Arab-Israeli conflict elsewhere in the article. Pit-yacker (talk) 11:09, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
For completeness, perhaps shows how hopeless this article is, can I throw in Greg Dyke's hideously white speech from only 5 years prior to the cultural liberal bias speech. Pit-yacker (talk) 11:22, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Allegations of Indophobia para

The final para in this section (beginning Writing on western media bias regarding South Asia in the journal of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, media analyst Ajai K. Rai strongly criticizes the BBC for anti-India bias) talks about a supposed BBC report that there was an attack by the Indian Army on the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Noor-u-din Noorani in Charari Sharief, and only retracted the claim after strong criticism from the media in India for several weeks - there's only one problem. This is not what the BBC reported. The BBC story [8] was about a bombing at the shrine in January 2004 and was in the context of attacks against the British High Commisioner and members of the Awami League in Bangladesh. We can't access the reference for this paragraph as it is behind a paywall. I have searched for supporting evidence that the BBC ever said this, or independent confirmation of Rai's comments and can't find either. In the absence of further evidence, I propose this paragraph be removed. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 07:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I made some edits in that section today to sort out ref formating issues/flag dead links etc. I didn't look at the content/sources in any detail although much of the section seems to be pretty poorly sourced. Paywalls aren't a reason to remove material though per WP:PAYWALL. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm not suggesting removing it because the source is paywalled, that is simply a supporting point - the simple fact is that the BBC did not make the alleged remarks and not only that, no other news source supports the allegation. The BBC often draws attacks from those who simply object to the truth being publicly stated - in this case, the BBC was reporting attacks against Muslims and one can draw one's own conclusions about the reaction of some to that. Objectivity matters in Wikipedia and we shouldn't just be repeating incorrect material from uncheckable and unsupported sources. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 08:45, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, you aren't going to get any objections from me. If the information hasn't been published elsewhere it doesn't qualify via due weight anyway. The entire section does seem to be fairly typical of agenda driven criticism sections in Wikipedia. It could do with a bit of objectivity. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:11, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I realise this is the "criticism" page, so it's bound to contain criticism, but some items seem poorly sourced or unobjective. We also have blogs being used as sources at some points - I thought that was against policy? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 09:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I think it depends on who they are written by, whether they are under editorial control, whether they are being used for facts or opinions and whether they are attributed to the author etc i.e. it seems to be on a case by case basis per WP:NEWSBLOG and WP:SPS. We shouldn't really need any blogs though. If it's notable criticism worthy of an encyclopedia it will have been reported in multiple sources. That's how I look at it anyway. Sean.hoyland - talk 09:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
How strange, two intelligent and reasonable editors in one place. I've always struggled to understand how "Criticism of .." articles are tolerated at all here, given that mere criticism sections within articles are frowned on. They're uniformly rubbish and little more than sloppily written list-style collaborative essays where people can come and dump random things they read in random op-eds the other day that they happen to agree with about something they don't like. Then, if people complain, they are told that the material is "well sourced" and must remain. Why not a "Praise of the BBC" article? I could dig up plenty of comment pieces and even academic works that could be used to write up such a page. And did you know that "Criticism of Barney & Friends" is a working redirect? Which kind of says it all. N-HH talk/edits 12:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Says you. I've often felt hostile towards Barney. It's that purple colour. Back here on the Beeb article though, I agree. I suppose what's happened is that over time people have injected all the various lines of attack until it reached a point that a seperate article was spawned as a placeholder. It does seem logical that if this exists, another article In Praise of Dear Old Aunty should be published. Seems to point in the direction of delete/merge? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 14:25, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
It appears it was put to bed a long time in the past. As you suggest, I suspect what happened then was that more and more criticism got added to the main BBC page over the following years, and that this article was then spun off again. I think putting it up for deletion or merger will just run into the objection noted above that "it's all sourced", as well as being opposed by people who - sensibly enough I suppose - see these sorts of articles as a way of at least keeping all this kind of rubbish out of the main one. Much as I think it should be junked, I can't see any consensus coming out of an AfD or a merge discussion. Plus, it's such a wide and fundamental problem, it probably needs approaching at a policy level. Having said all that, there is also a BBC controversies article, which is a) probably more justifiable as a title/concept for an encyclopedia, and b) suggests an easier merge target in this case (I think there was a proposal to that effect a while back, if I remember correctly). Next week, maybe .... N-HH talk/edits 14:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Move Proposal: BBC (views and controversies)

I would like to get rid of that neutrality tag at the top of the article, but as discussions above illustrate, a more important issue is the name and format of the article altogether. The first point is that we shouldn't really have an article called "criticism of x" without a very good reason. It opens the door immediately to all kinds of POV-battling and presents the silly position of requiring an article called "praise of x".

I therefore suggest we move to something like BBC (views and controversies), which would also allow "positive" or "considered" views to be put about these issues. Let's discuss it and then I will call a vote on the more promising move name candidates. Thanks. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 14:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

OK, sorry, I've just seen NN-H's comment above drawing attention to the existence of a controversies page already. So maybe what's needed is a merge with that. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 15:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
There have been several informal proposals to merge with BBC controversies (check on the archived talk pages of this article and the other one), but none of them seemed to gain too much support... AnonMoos (talk) 20:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Political bias to the left?

The section title seems inaccurate to me. In the section, there are allegations that the BBC is biased towards the left and towards the right, so a more general "Political bias?" title would more accurately reflect the contents of the section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theresonator (talkcontribs) 14:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

So I've changed it to "Political bias?".

Similarly, the "Anti-Israel bias" section contains allegations that the BBC is biased towards both Israel and the Palestinians, so that section title should be changed. I won't change it yet as I'm thinking about more appropriate titles. "Israel/Palestine Criticisms" maybe? Theresonator (talk) 14:55, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

The "Anti-Israel bias" section

Firstly, the section contains allegations of BBC bias towards both Israel and the Palestinians, so the section title needs to be reworded so that it more accurately reflects the content. Any suggestions for a better title?

Why does the section contain anything about Professor Steven Weinberg cancelling a speech because of a boycott of Israeli products? Did the BBC organise the boycott? I don't think so. It may have a place elsewhere, but not in a "Criticism of the BBC" article. I know there's a quote of Weinberg criticising the BBC. Is Weinberg so notable that his views demand inclusion in an article of this kind? Theresonator (talk) 15:18, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed about the title - have changed it. Checking out the Weinberg point.... Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 15:58, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, further to this, I have checked it out and removed that paragraph. The citation supplied did not lead to a story. Other news reports such as [9] on the Weinberg statement refer to general allegations of anti-Israeli and anti-semitic positions in Britain rather than the BBC specifically; it appears this para was spun up without evidence to support it. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 16:03, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. I'll get bolder, if I stick around. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theresonator (talkcontribs) 16:12, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Sure, keep at it - feel free to try edits yourself - you did the right thing raising the issues on the talk page first. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 17:23, 19 October 2010 (UTC)