BBC Bias Debate ContinuesOctober 30, 2006 9:16 by Simon Plosker
The debate over institutional bias within the BBC continues. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Tom Leonard adds his thoughts:
It’s fair to say the message is finally getting through: the BBC has a problem with impartiality. The row over BBC bias has been rumbling on longer than war in Sudan and always seemed just as unresolvable. The format was always the same: take a bunch of Left-leaning, liberal-minded television executives and a bunch of Right-leaning politics wonks with obsessions about BBC reporting of the Middle East, the EU and the Tory party. Then they hit each other over the head with rolled up, heavily underlined copies of programme transcripts from Newsnight or Today.
And this is a battle that the BBC has become very adept at fighting. Every time the clamour of bias on some particularly hard news issue, such as Israel, Iraq, or Brussels, gets too loud, the corporation commissions some research that finds no bias, or – next best – evidence of bias on both sides.
Sound familar? A look at the BBC’s independent inquiry into its Mideast coverage would suggest so.