BBC bias?

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BBC bias?

Post by Formerly AvP » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:29 am

Two stories featuring prominently on the front pages of UK newspapers, Johnston/Sharp and Zahawi don't feature at all on the front page of the BBC webpage visible here in Poland, despite one of them involving the BBC itself. Is it the same in the UK? More generally, we've felt there has been a marked pro-tory shift in the BBC's coverage generally, including when we are in the UK. The BBC has ceased to be my first port of call for news as a result. Does anyone else share this perception? Are data available, rather than our generally liberal perceptions?
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:42 am

Formerly AvP wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:29 am
Two stories featuring prominently on the front pages of UK newspapers, Johnston/Sharp and Zahawi don't feature at all on the front page of the BBC webpage visible here in Poland, despite one of them involving the BBC itself. Is it the same in the UK? More generally, we've felt there has been a marked pro-tory shift in the BBC's coverage generally, including when we are in the UK. The BBC has ceased to be my first port of call for news as a result. Does anyone else share this perception? Are data available, rather than our generally liberal perceptions?
I don't know about data but the front page of the BBC web site may change minute by minute and it will very likely display different stories to people inside and outside the UK. So an assessment of the composition of the front page wouldn't be simple.

It might be easier to pick one article published at a certain time (the text gets updated) and look for bias there.

ETA It would be good to consider what an unbiased article would look like. When doing that good to consider that most of the people here are to the left of the UK population. That shouldn't affect whether facts are reported accurately, but it would affect things like what aspects of a story are considered to be important.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:48 am

I think prominence of coverage relative to other outlets is a fair thing to look at, although I'd agree that the time a story is prominent for is a factor.

For what it's worth, the Zahawi story is featured directly below the top story (which is the Zara Aleena story). The Johnson story isn't there at all. You have to click on the "politics" section before it makes its appearance.
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by tenchboy » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:57 am

I'm sure I've seen them there over the last couple of days or so: maybe just not today.
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:20 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:48 am
I think prominence of coverage relative to other outlets is a fair thing to look at, although I'd agree that the time a story is prominent for is a factor.
I agree, I think its fair to consider the composition front page.

If doing that it would still be good to consider what an unbiased front page would look like. Simply comparing the BBC page to newspaper front pages has limitations because all the newspapers have their own political stances. So there isn't an unbiased source to compare it to.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by Formerly AvP » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:40 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:20 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:48 am
I think prominence of coverage relative to other outlets is a fair thing to look at, although I'd agree that the time a story is prominent for is a factor.
I agree, I think its fair to consider the composition front page.

If doing that it would still be good to consider what an unbiased front page would look like. Simply comparing the BBC page to newspaper front pages has limitations because all the newspapers have their own political stances. So there isn't an unbiased source to compare it to.
That's true, Woodchopper - perhaps I should have said I was comparing the BBC on-line front page here this morning with the front pages of the Times, Telegraph, the i and the Financial Times, all of which carry Zahawi story on the front page, rather than the more expected Guardian and Mirror. Even the Daily Express has the Johnson story on the front page (even if it IS a denial)!
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by science_fox » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:42 am

Also worth considering that hopefully the BBC still may have higher standards of truthfulness than some other media outlets and might require more verification and background checks before it runs a story, rather than passing on gossip.
Even typing this feels naïve. But one can hope.

Would agree that in general anti-tory stories that I've seen on social media have less prominence on BBC News. But I think that's just generally true, as also case for anti-labour.(possibly fewer of those to start with).
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by TimW » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:44 am

Which front page, exactly? What's the url?

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by headshot » Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:12 am

Both stories featured prominently on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning, and on the evening news yesterday too.

The Zahawi story was prominent on the front page of the BBC website yesterday, and there's a smaller story there today too.
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by Formerly AvP » Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:38 pm

TimW wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:44 am
Which front page, exactly? What's the url?
This is the one I see
https://www.bbc.com/news
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:48 pm

The Johnson/Sharp story is now more prominent than the Zahawi one.
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by TimW » Tue Jan 24, 2023 3:59 pm

Formerly AvP wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:38 pm
TimW wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:44 am
Which front page, exactly? What's the url?
This is the one I see
https://www.bbc.com/news
Cheers. I get redirected to bbc.co.uk/news, don't know if it's different.
Also I see that plain bbc.co.uk is a lot newsier than it used to be, you might have meant that. Last time I looked (possibly ages) it was a horrible pale blue thing full of all that other BBC stuff like TV and recipes and whatever.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by IvanV » Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:42 pm

I think many of us have had a sense that the BBC has been treading a bit lighter on the govt in recent times, interpreting "balance" in a rather more govt-friendly way, etc. One might guess it was related to PMs and DCMS ministers and the like who were threatening to remove the licence fee, trim the BBC down, redefine balance, etc, while making a lot of complaints about what bias it exhibited. Though I have had a faint sense it might have been a little freer since Sunak was appointed.

I don't know what to make of the Sharp/Johnson story. It would be easy to understand the govt appointing someone to be chair of the BBC who was in their pocket. But it seems to be the other way around. You couldn't make it up.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by Gfamily » Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:12 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:42 pm
I don't know what to make of the Sharp/Johnson story. It would be easy to understand the govt appointing someone to be chair of the BBC who was in their pocket. But it seems to be the other way around. You couldn't make it up.
What really sticks in my craw is the comment (on Sky News) by that bastard Johnson about the Sharp story being "just another example of the BBC disappearing up its own fundament" when it's a Murdoch paper that's breaking the story and the BBC is doing very little to push it.
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Re: BBC bias?

Post by IvanV » Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:37 pm

Btw, if you want to read the complete Zahawi story from the investigative blogger that discovered it, Dan Neidle, and it is a very good read, and pretty compactly presented, it's here.

I'm particularly pleased about how, for once, someone has managed to get the Solicitors Regulation Authority to take seriously a complaint about the unlawful - but routine - behaviour of libel lawyers in writing threatening letters to people they are trying to shut up on behalf of their clients.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by jimbob » Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:18 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2023/ ... 10-adviser
Richard Sharp: BBC chair was shareholder in firm awarded £600k while he was a No 10 adviser
Man alleged to have helped organise loan for Boris Johnson has £3.4m stake in healthcare firm Oncimmune
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by IvanV » Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:49 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:37 pm
Btw, if you want to read the complete Zahawi story from the investigative blogger that discovered it, Dan Neidle, and it is a very good read, and pretty compactly presented, it's here.
HMRC in effect confirmed some of Neidle's assertions when they said they don't charge people penalties for innocent errors. But Neidle was already sufficiently confident of that he didn't retract when letters started arriving from libel lawyers.

It's pretty smelly that Zahawi was getting lawyers to try to stop Neidle saying things that events pretty much confirm to be the truth, and doing so in unlawful ways. That's what people like Prigozhin do.

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Re: BBC bias?

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:01 pm

IvanV wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:49 pm
IvanV wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:37 pm
Btw, if you want to read the complete Zahawi story from the investigative blogger that discovered it, Dan Neidle, and it is a very good read, and pretty compactly presented, it's here.
HMRC in effect confirmed some of Neidle's assertions when they said they don't charge people penalties for innocent errors. But Neidle was already sufficiently confident of that he didn't retract when letters started arriving from libel lawyers.

It's pretty smelly that Zahawi was getting lawyers to try to stop Neidle saying things that events pretty much confirm to be the truth, and doing so in unlawful ways. That's what people like Prigozhin do.
It's what basically sh.tty wealthy people do. Prigozhin likes to have people killed with sledgehammers and has it filmed so it can be used both as intimidation and to recruit the kind of sick f.cks that think that's cool to his neo-nazi filled mercenary organisation. Zahawi should leave public life for being a tax cheat, but I'd avoid comparisons with the likes of Prigozhin.

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