Following decades of ping pong by ideologues claiming BBC bias, an analysis has finally reached a definitive conclusion.
‘The BBC routinely allows politicians, political commentators and business elites to define the political and social agenda. This has arguably played some role in bringing us to the current political and constitutional crisis in which we now find ourselves, and which for the BBC will be very difficult to navigate.’
Far from being pro left wing as some far right politicians have sought to argue the BBC is pro elite and pro establishment and often pays only lip service to the wider population.
‘As I describe in some detail in my book, the BBC’s fundamental political orientation is not towards the left or right as such (although there is certainly good evidence of subtle right-wing bias), but towards the interests and perspectives of powerful groups in society, especially those in Westminster, Whitehall and the City.’
A recent letter signed by 70 MP’s alledged a pro European, anti Brexit stance. However, this letter ‘contained no evidence at all – only assertions’ and following detailed analysis actually showed the scales tipped the other way with a report published by the BBC Trust in 2013 (and updated at the end of 2015) suggesting that in the years preceding the referendum, the Eurosceptics in fact had the edge over those supportive of EU membership in BBC news.
Then, during the referendum campaign itself, research by Loughborough University suggests the BBC achieved a good balance in terms of the time given to the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps. But Convervative voices dominated coverage on both sides of the campaign and statistical claims were rarely interrogated.
In 2017, evidence won’t put this debate to bed but at least for those who consider it important their argument is much more grounded.
Source: Press Gazette