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.