17/11/2007

Does the BBC have a pro-England news bias?

Under a headline Allegations over BBC pro-England news bias the Western Mail reports:

THE BBC is to launch a major inquiry following allegations that Wales is poorly served by its UK network news operation, the Western Mail can reveal today.
Tomorrow the BBC Trust will announce that two experts specialising in politics and the media will examine the coverage of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on flagship news programmes such as News at 10 and other bulletins presented by newsreaders like Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce.


The BBC won't have to spend too much on their inquiry. The answer is clear, there is very little information about events in the smaller nations of the UK on programmes such as News at Ten. Indeed if one depended on the BBC's British output to find news about the Welsh Assembly almost the only thing that would be known from this year is that the Assembly killed a holly bullock.

However I believe that the Western Mail's headline editor is mistaken, and that the BBC is asking the wrong question in their review. Rather than a pro-English bias the BBC news service has an anti-English bias.

Wales and Scotland have their own national news services, there may be questions about quality and the inability to attract sufficient viewers, but a Scot or a Welsh person can choose to watch Scottish or Welsh national news and current affairs programmes. The only country in the UK that doesn’t have its own national news coverage is England, an English person is totally dependent on the UK service to find out what's happening in England.

Since devolution, politics in England is clearly different to the politics of Wales, Scotland and the North of Ireland. One of the weaknesses of the BBC's (and other channels') news and current affairs programmes is that they don't acknowledge this by providing a service specifically for England.

If there was a national news service for England one of the effects would naturally be a more balanced representation of what is happening in all of the nations of the UK in what was left of UK wide current affairs programming.

3 comments:

  1. When devolution first came in the beeb bosses said that the word "England" must be used with tact. There has been many complaints to the bbc that they do not recognize England since devolution. The beeb is committed to regions in England much the same as the government.
    The complaints by Plaid and the SNP of arrogance by the beeb are well founded, we know only too well what they think of English Nationalists.

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  2. bored of Politicians18/11/2007, 14:48

    the issue is not that a London based news organisation like the BBC doesn't cover Wales, when have they ever!

    The issue for me is why don't our AM's and MP's start asking questions about what allegedly passes for journalism from BBC Wales, ITV Wales, the Western Mail and Daily Post, but they wont do it because they need the press they will just keep complaining and thing will get worse.

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  3. I wouldn't say the BBC has a pro-English bias. There are large areas of England that hardly get a look-in, how many regional English accents do you hear? Precious few.

    The BBC has a pro-Left wing , anti-Israel, anti-American bias. It speaks for the type of person who agrees with the Indpendent, the Socialist Worker and, perhaps, the Guardian, nobody else.

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