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Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Michael Mannion

Ben Bradshaw rightly states that BBC independence is important in avoiding political interference but he failed to address the flip side of the argument - the BBC's interference in politics. What I deplore about BBC reporting policy over the last decade is its blatent anti-government bias. It is as anti-Labour and pro-Tory as the rest of the right-wing media. If the BBC is as partial and politically biased as broadcasters that are commercially funded why should it keep its public funding? Instead of the complacency he and his predecessors have shown towards BBC policy (is he unconcerned with, for example, the ever-dreary and negative reporting from Adrian Warner, the BBC's 'anti-Olympics' correspondent?) Ben should be giving us radical proposals to make the BBC more democratic and accountable. If I were in his shoes I would be looking at 1) scrapping the useless and ineffective 'Trust' and introducing a democratically elected and representative 'Review Panel' that would have the powers to ensure high broadcasting and managerial standards and freedom from political bias, 2) instigating an indepth examination of the BBC's expenses culture, and 3) the launching of a UK-wide consultation programme with the aim of establishing what the licence payer wants from the BBC (rather than what the BBC thinks is right for the licence payer).

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