Talk:Criticism of the BBC/Archive 3

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The Mail on Sunday's accuracy with regard to the BBC's seminar

In the "Political correctness" section, it says:

"The Mail on Sunday (which was not present at the seminar) claimed that a senior executive at the seminar admitted "There was 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"".

Given the fact that the Mail on Sunday had already erroneously said that the seminar was "secret", is anything they have to say on this matter reliable? The quote above from an unnamed senior executive doesn't appear in the BBC's transcript of the seminar, which is available here: So, did a senior executive really say that, at that seminar, or is the Mail on Sunday wrong again? I think the Mail on Sunday has got it wrong and I am tempted to remove the paragraph quoted above.

Also, in the same section, there's some criticism of the BBC from Jeff Randall. For the sake of balance, shouldn't the article point out that Randall now works for Sky News, one of the BBC's main competitors, so his views may not be totally unbiased? --Theresonator (talk) 10:29, 20 October 2010 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Theresonator (talkcontribs) 18:27, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

I've been bold and removed the following: "The Mail on Sunday (which was not present at the seminar) claimed that a senior executive at the seminar admitted "There was 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""

The quote did not appear in the transcript of the seminar. The Sunday Mail wasn't there, so it couldn't have got a quote from a participant first hand.--Theresonator (talk) 20:03, 23 October 2010 (UTC)


The article doesn't clearly link the term gunmen with Indophobia. After reading this section I have no idea why it could deemed offensive or Indophobic. (talk) 17:57, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

The BBC's apparent reluctance to refer to the Bombay attackers as "terrorists" is what was considered to be offensive. The larger issue is that on average the non-Muslim immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, from the subcontinent in Britain are doing better for themselves than are the Muslim immigrants or descendants of immigrants from the subcontinent -- and collectively they are certainly causing less trouble in British society -- yet in certain cases the BBC seems to show less consideration or circumspection towards them than it does towards Muslims... AnonMoos (talk) 16:47, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
So, you are saying that Muslims are more likely to be terrorists than the average person? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't have any hard statistics, and don't care enough about that particular question to gather them. What I said above is what I meant. AnonMoos (talk) 06:42, 21 October 2011 (UTC)


Where is the core narrative? There is no discussion of BBC criticism prior to the modern era, and the criticism is not cogently organised. Rather this article is the creation of the gluing together of pieces of public journalism. When scholarly papers and high quality monographs (reviewed in the scholarly press) exist, that topically define the area, we can do quite a fair bit better than this. In particular, the TL;DR litany of incidents obscures any thematic account of criticism of the BBC. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:10, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure that there is or can be any overarching "narrative" to various diverse episodes occurring over many decades, but they are still better gathered here than cluttering and lengthening the main "BBC" article. What would be more immediately useful would be resolving the standing problem of having two separate articles Criticism of the BBC and BBC controversies... AnonMoos (talk) 03:19, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Investigating the Fraud

In light of the October 2011 BBC documentary 'investigating' supposed fraud within the BNP I am somewhat surprised that this has not yet been given a mention on this article as of February 2012. (The video can also be found upon the BNP's own website.) If you look at the full video and consider the context of the speech given, you should agree that this should be included in the article - not least because of the supposedly impartial BBC's extended history of bias and negativity towards the BNP. This is also in consideration that in addition to the content of the video the introductary section of the written responses the BNP informed Daragh MacIntyre his party would be giving in response to the BBC's "cynical attempt to brainwash the public" clearly shows that the BNP is seemingly pushed to the edge by the BBC's bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you are proposing to add to the article, but if this matter has become a legitimate controversy (reported on by news organizations, not just on the BNP's own website), then it can certainly be added to the article. The Secret Agent documentary thing certainly came to a semi-farcical ending, but more because the BBC interpretation of the law was rejected by the judges in the case, rather than because the BBC was proven to have reported falsely... AnonMoos (talk) 03:14, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
With regard to the secret Agent documenmtary, AFAICT the interpretation of the law was on the part of the Crown rather than the BBC. In the England, it is the CPS that chooses to bring a criminal prosecution based on evidence presented (rather than the BBC). As far as I am aware after the broadcast, the police became involved and the CPS believed there was sufficient evidence to pursue charges. The two were acquitted on a point of law. The loop-hole created by said case was then pretty hurriedly closed by the Government (again not the BBC).
As for adding the latest rebuttal from the BNP. I really think we need more reliable sources than the BNP to suggest that this documenrary really is of any controversy relating to the BBC rather than the BNP itself. Problem is I'm finding absolutely zero coverage of the BNP's claims. Pit-yacker (talk) 11:25, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Edit: Checking the sources for the "Secret Agent" case, it was the CPS that brought the case. In relation to the first trial "The Crown Prosecution Service later said it would proceed with a retrial over the outstanding charges." and in relation to the retrial "The Crown Prosecution Service said it was satisfied there had been sufficient evidence for a "realistic prospect of conviction"" and the response from the government to the verdict "Gordon Brown has told the BBC race laws may have to be revised in light of the acquittal.". I'm actually unsure why the Secret Agent case is even in this article. IMO the real controversy lies with the BNP (and perhaps the legal system). The BBC had an incidental role in gathering some video that the CPS later used as evidence in a criminal trial. The verdict of said case was controversial enough for the government to push through a change on the law. Pit-yacker (talk) 11:42, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
The Secret Agent documentary is on this page because it was widely perceived to be a mountain that labored to gave birth to a molehill (i.e. with a conclusion that descended into anticlimactic farce), I presume. However good the intentions of the BBC were, the end result was that the BNP received a lot of publicity, and claimed to be triumphantly vindicated by the legal system with respect to allegations made in the TV show... AnonMoos (talk) 15:32, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Although that "arguable" mountain was created by the CPS, who chose to pursue to criminal trials, rather than the BBC. I'm not sure that it is "widely perceived" to be either the BBC's fault or even the fault of the CPS for that matter, that the charges didn't stick. I'm inclined to suggest it was more perceived as good defence lawyers. Yes the BNP will say it was all a plot by the BBC (along with the Government, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, unions, the politcial establishment, the security services, etc. ,etc. ). As for what was "widely perceived" in public opinion, that might be a different matter. Pit-yacker (talk) 16:54, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Although the BBC had no direct responsibility or authority when things entered into the legal arena, nevertheless, whenever a media outlet plays up an exposé of criminality, but the alleged malefactors end up being acquitted on all charges, this outcome never adds to the prestige of the media organization in question... AnonMoos (talk) 23:16, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Political bias? Possible addition to this section

I assume that evidence of bias is evidence of bias, no matter if the bias leans towards the left or right.

On that basis, I would like to suggest the BBC's TV news reporting of the trouble at the Battle of Orgreave during the miner's strike in 1984 be included in this section.

The BBC showed two bits of film. The first showed miners throwing stones at the police. The second showed police, some of them mounted, attacking miners. The problem with this is that the two events actually happened in the reverse order - the police attacked the miners first, then the miners started throwing stones at the police. Therefore the BBC coverage clearly benefited the Conservative government of the day.[1]

The BBC have belatedly (1991, seven years after the event) written a letter of apology[2], in which they claim that the reversal of the clips was inadvertent. For this section, a documented accusation appears to be sufficient to warrant inclusion, so the denial, whilst certainly worthy of mention, shouldn't be enough to prevent it's inclusion. --Theresonator (talk) 22:50, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

If anything, the fact that it was felt necessary to issue a correction seven years later would appear to increase its prominence... AnonMoos (talk) 15:20, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

The idea that the BBC is guilty of left-wing bias, is, frankly, absurd. As, in much of the rest of society, the voice of the Left has been, more or less, systematically expunged from public discourse.

Concrete examples. Facts. In the period prior to the invasion on Iraq the BBC supported Blair and Bush's propaganda campaign and almost totally excluded critical or alternative voices. The ratio was about 95% to 5%, and I'm being generous.

What about today? Let's look at the current economic Depression, the virtual meltdown of Capitalism. Where are alternative voices, Marxist voices, the Trades Unions? They are nowhere to be heard. Take Wake-up to Money, on BBC5 Live. When was the last time they had an even remotely 'left-wing' voice commentating on the current crisis, or the economy, or the market in general? Virtually never. It's banker after banker, followed by City expert after City expert, businessman after bussinessman, laced with ghastly neo-classical economist after economist.

How about at least a counter-balance with Mehdi Hassan's New Statesman article. It isn't a particularly radical piece and even goes absurd lengths to try and portray Andrew Marr, a simpering admirer of the arcane right-wing fruit loop Richard Nixon as representaive of the Beeb's 'left-wing'. If he is left then what does that say for Andrew Neil?

Even so, the rest of the article clearly details how hysterically disproportionate these wild allegations are and if anything the BBC with programmes as slap dash and devoid of factual content as John Humphrey's sweeping tabloid generalisations masquerading as (a BBC presenter the Mail adores) poitical fact rant 'How are welfare state created an age of entitlement'.

With programmes like this regulary aired on the BBC I really must bode the question "Where are all these ardently Marxist 'leftist' programmes because from where I'm sitting all I see in the BBC is a radical platform for the lunatic fringe of the radical right. And how about a section analysing the hysterical blogs such as 'Biased BBC' which are so anal and proposterous that they deserve no credibility whatsoever. I think there should be a section acknowledging the reactionary right's agenda in pressuring the BBc not to be impartial but to become the FOX News of Britain. It is already overtly right-wing as are most of the BBC's political correspondents.

This is Mehdi Hassan's article:- (O'Hanluain (talk) 10:07, 16 August 2012 (UTC))

Here's a heuristic from Medialens which might help with the question of bias, 3, 4, & 5 seem apposite.

1: the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms

2: advertising as the primary income source of the mass media

3: the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power

4: "flak" as a means of disciplining the media

5: "anticommunism" (more recently, “anti-terrorism”) as a national religion and control mechanism. don't you think?Keith-264 (talk) 15:26, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Ah yes, Chomsky and Herman's five filters from Manufacturing Consent. No reliable sources around directly using this methodology, except perhaps for John Pilger. More references to Pilger's criticism of the BBC would be welcome, and other authoritative individuals which count as RS. Keith-264 will insist Media Lens meets this criteria, but I do not agree with him. Philip Cross (talk) 19:39, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Criticism of the BBC

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Criticism of the BBC's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 16:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

this title appears to be an attack page - living people WP:BLP are the BBC

This article imo as its currently named and written is an attack page and should be deleted/renamed/rewritten and any worthwhile content moved to relevant articles- I would appreciate other editors positions on this before I take editorial action to resolve these issues -Youreallycan 03:09, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi Youreallycan. This article is a negative spinout article rather than an attack page. This material is being forked here because it is impractical to add it to the main article on BBC. The article looks the way it does because the BBC has earned those comments and criticisms (whether rightly or wrongly is not for us to judge) and as an uncensored encyclopedia, IMO we do need to provide this information to our readers.
Organizations, communities, religions, countries etc. all constitute living people. This does not mean that BLP could apply to these entities as much as it does to individual living people. So, I do not think BLP is too relevant here (although it may be applicable when individuals are mentioned, and may apply to organizations too in a less direct way). Regards.OrangesRyellow (talk) 13:39, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Agree completely. BLP violations are not an excuse to impose censorship either - if it's not reliably sourced then it shouldn't be here. If it is and it's notable then it should. Problem solved. Thanks Jenova20 (email) 09:08, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Revert of archiving

I have reverted the archiving of relatively recent material from this talk page. Not only did it include material added during this month by myself and another user, but 13,000 bytes does not seem a sufficient amount of data to move and close debates. This contravenes normal practice, Archive pages are not intended to be edited/reverted, so it seems necessary for me to allow my action to be debated. Philip Cross (talk) 09:22, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Reorganising Israel-Palestine section

The Israel-Palestine section would benefit from some reorganisation. It currently reads like a long list with little organising structure, as the subject matter is so controversial and there are good points made by both sides of the debate, surely it would be better to divide the section into Pro-Palestinian and Anti-Israel bias, and another Anti-Palestinian and Pro-Israel bias. Any thoughts? --Evenmadderjon (talk) 12:56, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 00:30, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Immigration and the EU

deep liberal bias in the bbc over immigration — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I've added a brief section on the Prebble report, sourced from the Guardian and Telegraph. Note that the report talks about a lack of focus in the past, not the present. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:45, 16 July 2013 (UTC)


BBC reporting has been not only anti EU but also against Euro .

BBC has even commissioned several documentaries to show Euro is flawed . Any EU/Euro report however minor which shows these institutions in negative light is promptly picked up and highlighted . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Please read WP:V. Sean.hoyland - talk 08:48, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Web Accountability/Contact form removed

The complaints section of the BBC web site no longer provides the ability to register a complaint about a programme or aspect of the BBC. Comments are possible, but selecting the "complaint" subject redirects the user to the "contact us" page to start the cycle again.

I'm thinking of adding this to the wiki article in due course, any objections? Mongoosander (talk) 20:40, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

I'll direct you towards standard Wikipedia policies such as WP:NOTE and WP:RS. This article isn't a replacement for Points of View or Newswatch (TV series) where you can get air-time for your personal complaints or start a complaint process. There has to be significant coverage of the issue somewhere in the media. Pit-yacker (talk) 12:32, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


BBC Bias at it's finest - YouTube Video (BBC criticise UKIP over Nigel Farage drinking and smoking, both of which are legal in the UK) UKIP Exposing BBC Propaganda (BBC repeatedly ask Farage about times of his youth, which he gave an answer to) The mainstream media wanted Nick Clegg to beat Nigel Farage - The Telegraph (BBC called for a win by Nick Clegg immediately after the LBC debate on the EU, but changing it's mind after YouGov announced that Farage had won)

There have also been incidents such as these: Baroness Williams openly compared UKIP to the Greek Golden Dawn (a Neo-Nazi party) on BBC Radio 4 BBC News repeatedly calling people who voted for UKIP 'Protest Voting', even after they won the Euro elections. BBC journalists stating that UKIP don't have any policies (even though they have a manifesto)

I understand that a few sources can't be reliable, but I'm shocked that there is nothing on UKIP in this article. However, I did see somebody comment that there was some edits made by IP addresses from the BBC in this article. I wonder what they were doing... (talk) 18:16 29 May 2014 (UTC)

See WP:OR. Information would need to come from reliable sources that discuss alleged bias against UKIP. Sean.hoyland - talk 18:35, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Use four tildes (~) to sign your comments, IP
There are claims too that the BBC favours Ukip. This piece from the New Statesman notes that Farage appeared on Question Time on more occasions than any other politician in a four year period up to June 2013. Philip Cross (talk) 18:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
TBH I think the OPs concerns are too focused on recent events and too narrow in scope, furthermore a better recent example of what he's looking for is surely the goings on on Twitter rather than the more vague accusations listed. I'd suggest that instead of simply looking the BBC's attitudes to UKIP, it's likely to be more useful to examine their general approach to the EU as a whole. This is actually already documented in the Criticism of the BBC#Immigration and the European Union section, with the BBC themselves admitting to some failings. That part of the article doesn't' really cover the issue sufficiently and needs expansion, though once again I'd emphasise that most the reliable sources I've seen point mostly to a pro-EU stance (or anti-Eurosceptic) rather than being explicity anti-UKIP.--Shakehandsman (talk) 19:17, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
The debate was about a month ago, so it isn't really that recent and narrow, and the others were from years ago. I also think that most people here misunderstood my point. I believe that the BBC were talking about the UKIP party itself, rather than the actual policies. (talk) 21:11, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
The perception of the public at large would seem to be that the BBC favours Ukip. According to The Guardian, the Corporation received 1,190 complaints saying it "favoured" Ukip - the highest number ever about a party's BBC coverage during an election - with 149 believing it was biased against Ukip. Make of this what you will. Philip Cross (talk) 14:48, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Given that it was indeed the highest number of complaints in an election campaign, a reference to the criticism of the BBC's apparent promotion of UKIP should be included in the article. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:33, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
This is the dilemma the BBC faces. It has to pander to the masses by being sensationalist in order to get the ratings required to justify the license fee, whilst also trying to maintain its 'objectivity'. The two aims are clearly contradictory.

(One of the ways the BBC has chosen to up its ratings with rest of the world is by using American English (Eg. "Our correspondent in United States" instead of " The United States, and "There will be strong winds in North" instead of "in the North"). This irritates British listeners in no small way, and could be something to consider adding to the article. Alas the BBC is virtually silent on the subject.