18 June 2007

BBC Impartiality Failure

BIAS it's as easy as BBCAnti-American; biased coverage of single-issue political causes such as climate change and poverty; and Muslims given preferential treatment over Christians.

That is the judgement of the BBC Trust about the broadcasting corporation, which it says "has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff." If that's what the BBC's own trustees believe, no wonder the BBC has been accused by others of being in danger of peddling government propaganda! Criticising programmes such as The Vicar Of Dibley, the Trust quotes BBC executives admitting they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran in case Muslims were offended. So, our media tsars believe that it's OK to offend Christians (presumably because they're supposed to be forgiving and are not expected to turn violent) whereas the sensitivities of the Muslim minority are to be uncritically pandered to.BBC pro-Islamic biasIf the BBC is now "going to face the challenges of impartiality in the modern world," perhaps its soap operas and sitcoms could also offer a few more positive role models rather than glossing over the complexities of life in favour of an orgy of bitterness and gossip, conflict and infidelity. Some claim that the portrayal of real life would not be as entertaining, but the truth is reality needs no exaggerating to be challenging, uplifting, even eye-opening and mind-stretching. Others contend that people are not influenced by what they know to be fictional stories. However, that is not how the human mind works — hence the vast sums that are spent on advertising. Just consider the increase in people enrolling onto forensic science courses at university in recent years, attributed to the influence of TV crime dramas such as Waking the Dead and Crime Scene Investigation.

We all assimilate subliminal messages whether we wish to or not and affecting how and what people think is the business of mass media. Unlike all other media providers, the BBC is uniquely privileged in being funded by tax-payers through the television licence fee. Its responsibility to offer objective, impartial, and balanced output is therefore all the greater.