BBC Bias

July 4th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

The report, commissioned by the Trust, found the broadcaster had been “slow” to catch up with public opinion on immigration and leaving the European Union.

Stuart Prebble, a former ITV television executive, said the BBC had probably been too swayed by the views of politicians, who were also reluctant to discuss immigration for fear of causing offence.

It said Helen Boaden, the former director of BBC News, “accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a ‘deep liberal bias’ in the way that the BBC approached the topic”.

A useful admission. Was it deliberate?

It also said the BBC was “slow to give appropriate prominence to the growing weight of opinion opposing UK membership of the EU, but in more recent times has achieved a better balance”.

The review also identified problems with so many BBC journalists working in a big building and reinforcing each other’s prejudices.

“A large group of people working together are in danger of becoming more homogenous in their thinking, not less, and so less able to see when the output reflects a narrow outlook,” he said.

That is the danger in NZ. Not deliberate bias, but just group-think that is hostile to other views.

I support marriage equality. But I think it is a fair point that if there was a journalist in say the press gallery who didn’t support marriage equality, they’d be very loath to express their view.

I recall a journalist friend whose politics are right-leaning. In their first media job, they were in an office where any view that wasn’t left leaning was met with hostility and even anger.

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41 Responses to “BBC Bias”

  1. Redbaiter (8,557 comments) says:

    “Was it deliberate?”

    Damn right it was. They refuse to hire anyone who doesn’t buy into their lame left wing political perspective.

    All cheering for “diversity” except in matters of political opinion.

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  2. flipper (3,991 comments) says:

    Yeah David, you are right.
    But the Beeb Beeb Ceeb (circa 2010-2013 et al) is not only an arsehole organisation on that issue. It has now been shown, and has reluctantly conceded, that it showed similar bias in its coverage of AGW/GHG/.CC matters, to the detriment of thousands , upon thousands of electricity users in the UK.

    Somewhat similar to Red (NZ) Radio , is it not?

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  3. Redbaiter (8,557 comments) says:

    “Somewhat similar to Red (NZ) Radio , is it not?”

    The same, but WHERE ARE THE POLITICIANS WITH THE GONADS TO TAKE IT TO THESE LEFT WING PROPAGANDISTS?

    Its been going on for far too long, and its getting worse, not better.

    Sell them off. Or at least make them subscription only.

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  4. flipper (3,991 comments) says:

    Red…
    Quite agree.
    What say we start with Banksie?
    Or what about a “bring back Rodders, John Basc or Davo G ?
    REK, or Douglas Myers might be the answer. But neither would stoop that low. Bugger

    Shit,
    I wish it was as easy as posting here. :)

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  5. queenstfarmer (775 comments) says:

    Always useful to have an ‘official’ acknowledgment of MSM bias, but what usually happens is everyone shrugs and carrys on with their biased/unequal/uneven coverage.

    Same thing happens when, for example, Greenpeace admits that it deliberately misleads the public. Does the MSM care? No. They just carry on covering Greenpeace as if it is a credible and honest outfit.

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  6. projectman (216 comments) says:

    What is particularly interesting to read is a report for the BBC Trust in 2007 by John Bridcut called “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding Impartiality in the 21st Century”. Chapter 6, “Twelve Guiding Principles”, is worth reading if nothing else.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/18_06_07impartialitybbc.pdf

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  7. Manolo (13,590 comments) says:

    Nothing new here. The BBC is a known bastion of the Left and defender of socialism.

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  8. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Impartiality and objectivity are not the same thing.

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  9. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Nothing new here. The BBC is a known bastion of the Left and defender of socialism.

    A defender of socialism?

    You belong in a nuthouse.

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  10. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    That is the danger in NZ. Not deliberate bias,…

    Tell me David is joking, please ! I note he then goes on to give an anecdote that contradicts that bizarre claim.

    The media do not report public opinion, they shape public opinion. They tell us what to think according to their left wing agenda. They do it in the way things are reported and by not reporting certain things at all. It is the later which is possibly the biggest deceit. We can usually see bias in what is reported, but we can not see what is hidden from us.

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  11. Ross Miller (1,700 comments) says:

    Joy …. something I can agree with Redbaiter on. Now if he weren’t so disparaging to those whose politics aren’t as far to the right as his I would probably take greater note of his utterances … my way or the highway doesn’t quite cut the mustard in adult debate …. sad.

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  12. EmmaChisit (18 comments) says:

    It seems to me that most Western Media are a bit biased towards current liberal(socialist) thinking.
    Funnily enough most of us are biased one way or the other.

    ie we believe democracy is the only way to go. Bias?
    Consider this challenge to your thinking tho!
    http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_x_li_a_tale_of_two_political_systems.html

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  13. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    Ross Miller , yes that is Reds biggest problem. Either you agree with – everything- he says or you are a “prog fuckwit”… like me.

    I vote up heaps of his posts, but don’t tell him. ;)

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  14. OneTrack (3,027 comments) says:

    David – “That is the danger in NZ”

    We are well past a “danger” of this happening in NZ (or should I say Aotearoa).

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  15. OneTrack (3,027 comments) says:

    EmmaChisit – They seem to be a bit more than just biased :-). Yes, everybody has their own beliefs, even MSM reporters. I just come from a time when it was presented as an ideal that news organisations should be as objective as possible and investigate issues from a number of angles. Maybe presenting me with something I didn’t want to know or hadn’t thought about.

    This approach now seems to be well out of vogue at the moment with most of the MSM doing their best to sell me on their ideology and tell me what I should think. And any valid alternative views are either not raised at all or are actively disparaged. Or the other option, of course, is that they go completely off the reservation and chasing down puerile stuff that was interesting when I was 13 out the back of the bike shed. Seven Sharp is the most blinding recent example of that approach but most of the media does the same sort of thing and more and more regularly.

    And yet they STILL wonder why their business model is failing.

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  16. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    EmmaChisit (9) Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting, I am watching it now.

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  17. radvad (755 comments) says:

    Liberalism is the path of least resistance. Much easier to go with the flow than stand on a principle and face the wrath of the oh so tolerant left.

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  18. Redbaiter (8,557 comments) says:

    “You belong in a nuthouse”

    Yes yes we get the message Tom, just another swivel eyed loon right?

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  19. Griff (7,520 comments) says:

    red
    We think you are a special sort of swivel eyed loon.

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  20. Nukuleka (309 comments) says:

    “I think it is a fair point that if there was a journalist in say the press gallery who didn’t support marriage equality, they’d be very loath to express their view.”

    Good on you for recognising the overwhelming media bias that dominated that debate, DPF. The entire same sex marriage debate (please leave the emotive term ‘equality’ out of the equation) was dominated by the one-sided liberal media that in no way reflected the actual opinions of mainstream NZ.

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  21. Ross12 (1,413 comments) says:

    Emma –like Kea I want to thank you for the link. A great TED talk and everyone reading Kiwiblog should take the time to watch and listen.

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  22. David Garrett (7,112 comments) says:

    As regular readers know, I have long defended our public radio service against the “Red Radio” tag…until now. In late May they ran a “nine to noon” segment – notably hosted by Lyn Freeman rather than Kathryn Ryan – on three strikes. It was the most one sided piece of radio I have ever heard…basically nothing more than a vehicle for the aptly name Professor Pratt – egged on by Freeman- to rail against 3S and pretty much make make up whatever he wanted to with no challenge.

    Their pathetic excuse for the lack of any dissenting voice was that Collins had been invited but declined to take part, and neither I nor Stephen Franks was in parliament any more. Since the programme was about the EFFECTS of 3S three years on, and not how it came to be passed, that struck me as utter crap.

    It was so bad that they even upheld part of my complaint…and then rejected the rest. The complaint is now with the BSA…for whatever good that will do. End result: they just lost one of their very few defenders from the right side of the spectrum. There would be very few left I suspect.

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  23. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    David Garrett, I listen to communist radio every morning. It is my alarm clock (it is very alarming). They do give reasonably in depth coverage, but the left wing bias can not be over stated. As for the screaching hysterical commie bitch Kim Hill, she like a parody of a rapid lefty. I can’t imagine any rational person taking her seriously !

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  24. Redbaiter (8,557 comments) says:

    “End result: they just lost one of their very few defenders from the right side of the spectrum.”

    What side??

    The right side???

    FFS…!!!

    Garret, you were tough on crime, and you did a fantastic job getting three strikes into law, but apart from that, I’ve seen very little evidence that you’re not just another same old same old liberal/ progressive. Especially as its apparently taken you until just recently to wake up to the fact that RNZ is a nest of leftist vipers. Where the hell is your head man?

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  25. Redbaiter (8,557 comments) says:

    “I listen to communist radio every morning.”

    Of course you do.

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  26. Manolo (13,590 comments) says:

    Kea, why would you listen to that crap? I’d rather listen to good classical music in the morning.

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  27. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    David Garrett, congratulations on obtaining the sought after title of “Prog Fuckwit”

    To show you have earned this prestigious title it is customary to end your posts with a smug smiley face when address the great Redbaiter.

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  28. thedavincimode (6,715 comments) says:

    Where the hell is your head man?

    Hopefully not below the male waistline like yours old dear.

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  29. Kea (12,447 comments) says:

    Kea, why would you listen to that crap?

    Because I am a prog fuckwit :)

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  30. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    But if the BBC went so would Radio 4 xtra (ex Radio 7) – and that would be a great loss

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  31. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    national radio wouldn’t be so bad, you can put up with opposing views, but its just so bloody dull.

    Jim Moira ,seriously, the most mind numbing 4 hours of radio on the planet, truly awful. Mary Wilson, just horrible.

    The book readings and BBC comedies etc are generally on so late that that only insomniacs and those driving home late at night hear them.

    The NZ public don’t really want 80% politics on the radio they pay for , where’s the entertainment ?, there’s no humour just faux seriousness debating the “issues of the day” which generally means pumping up the ego of some tedious Wellington insider who the majority of the country don’t give a flying fuck about.

    Even the Concert programme has gone off track.

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  32. David Garrett (7,112 comments) says:

    PEB: I have it on good authority that Wilson is seen as so biased towards the left that none of the Nat Ministers will go on her show, and very few will go on Nat Rad regardless of the programme. So I suppose in a sense the pricks have won – an unleavened diet of left wing propaganda.

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  33. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    DG

    She is awful, it hasn’t even got a radio voice, . She’s from the Kevin Ryan school of cross examination – if the defence is a bit thin yell your question at the witness and see if you can unsettle them.

    They havn’t won really because nobody listens which is a shame ,National radio should be the platform for decent documentary and entertainment shows – we do have young playwrites out there and hopefully some young ambitious investiigative journalists, I’d have thought a good place to start.

    John Boorman the film director said in a memoir that even though the BBC was run like a building society it did give you the chance to learn your trade, which is what national radio should be doing for young writers. Not a circle jerk of aged tedious lefties

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  34. Reid (16,290 comments) says:

    PEB: I have it on good authority that Wilson is seen as so biased towards the left that none of the Nat Ministers will go on her show, and very few will go on Nat Rad regardless of the programme.

    Yeah well that’s bullshit if that’s their policy. I mean what are they, a bunch of girls?

    It’s quite easy to beat down Mary Wilson, Fat Bastard (Gerry Brownlee) does it all the time, why he did it again just yesterday. You just gotta have the right technique and if Fat Bastard can do it, anyone can.

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  35. UpandComer (528 comments) says:

    What’s hilarious is that if you listen to people on the standard, they are convinced that there is actually a ‘right wing’ bias in NZ news. That is so ridiculous, that it makes me understand why some of them have the loopy views they hold.

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  36. hane (69 comments) says:

    @PEB: I have it on good authority that Wilson is seen as so biased towards the left that none of the Nat Ministers will go on her show, and very few will go on Nat Rad regardless of the programme.

    You should listen to Jim Mora’s The Panel sometime. Almost exclusively full of right wing muppet baby boomers. Not a person under forty and not a person under $100K pa.

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  37. Yoza (1,818 comments) says:

    The BBC ‘bias’ like RNZ ‘bias’ represent the limits of what the ruling elite wish to to be defined the as acceptable boundaries of dissent, and those boundaries enclose a very narrow scope of what they consider as acceptable opinion. That anyone would believe the BBC or RNZ are actually left-wing is testament to how far right society has been driven by successive governments over the last thirty years or so.

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  38. hj (6,923 comments) says:

    Talking about the Nisbet cartoons Katherine Ryan raises point about a journalistic elite being out of touch (no! no! no!) “those polls are absolutely unscientific…” (around 9′)
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2557390/media-with-gavin-ellis.asx

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  39. hj (6,923 comments) says:

    In summary, the decade can be divided into two parts. The first is dominated by a
    moral panic about immigration, specifically from Asia, which was reflected in media
    reporting. The politicisation and problematisation of Asian migration was mirrored
    in the print media. After 1997, and certainly since 2000, opinion and feature writers
    adopted a very different approach, prompted in part by a major downturn in Asian
    immigration and a greater appreciation of at least the economic benefits of
    immigration but also as a result of a growing awareness amongst journalists that
    they had a role to play in explaining (positively) the complex issues of immigration.

    There was a realisation, from both managers and the journalists concerned, that these
    new migrants were an increasingly significant audience in their own right, underlined
    by the decline in print sales and revenue. There were some exceptions in terms of a
    small number of columnists in particular and of news reporting generally.
    Fleras has argued that the ‘‘mainstream news media remains diversity-aversive,
    preferring instead the ‘pretend pluralism’ that fits into a business as usual mindset’’
    (5). In the review outlined above, this argument does not generally hold although
    there are important exceptions. This suggests two things at least: that media practice
    even inside the same organisation is variable and that media coverage can
    366 P. Spoonley & A. Butcher

    note journalists perception of themselves as teachers of society.

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  40. hj (6,923 comments) says:

    Migration Watch successful in U.K
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/18/head-to-head-with-migration-watch

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  41. hj (6,923 comments) says:

    The BBC did not accurately reflect the public’s growing concern about immigration because of a “deep liberal bias”, an official review has found.

    Q+A
    JESSICA MUTCH INTERVIEWS PAUL SPOONLEY
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1207/S00280/qa-jessica-mutch-interviews-paul-spoonley.htm

    JESSICA Are we growing as fast as we should?

    PAUL No, we’re not, but then all countries in the Western world are in decline, and we are what’s called premature ageing. So not only are we getting a lot more older people – that’s in size – but as a proportion of the population they’re growing because, of course, we’re seeing quite a few young people leave the country.

    JESSICA – Let’s talk a little bit about that population spread. Why are so many people moving to Auckland?

    PAUL – Well, Auckland – there’s an agglomeration effect, so the bigger Auckland becomes, there more attractive it becomes. It becomes more attractive economically, but it also becomes more attractive as a place to live. And so we’re seeing the sort of perimeters of New Zealand, the regions, beginning to flat-line, so they’re not growing, and we’re now beginning to see the first of regions beginning to decline.

    JESSICA – How is Auckland growing compared with the rest of the world in terms of a city?

    PAUL – Well, just to talk about New Zealand for a minute – natural growth, that’s the births over deaths, is still the most important factor in New Zealand’s growth. But in Auckland, our most important factor is immigration. So we are one of the major destination cities around the world, and you can see that in the make-up of Auckland – the number of people who have been born overseas.

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