Tuesday, 10 May 2011

BBC bias

As I suppose everyone knows, the BBC is often accused of institutional bias, especially by those who are not aligned with its mores. There is even an interesting blog entirely devoted to examples of alleged BBC bias. Are the accusations justified though?

In my view they are justified, but only in the sense that things could hardly be otherwise. The BBC cannot report everything or present every point of view. It must select, it must have a corporate culture guiding its selections plus editorial guidelines derived from the same culture. The BBC is built on real people, not abstract principles. Of course, all this applies to any media outlet, but the BBC is expected to be different. For me, this expectation is the main problem. The expectation is unreasonable, no institution could possibly measure up to it and the dear old Beeb inevitably doesn’t - because it can’t.

There are a few things it does far better than impartiality - example above. Even so, what is the point of a tax-funded, state-owned broadcaster if it so obviously can't do impartiality?

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