Is BBC news racist or just biased against the English?

I am grateful to O'Neil's elsewhere for pointing me in the direction of this letter in the Belfast Telegraph:

BBC 'racism' is clear through sports coverage

On Tuesday, October 12, Northern Ireland played the Faroe Islands in a Euro 2012 qualifying match, with an early kick-off at 4pm.
The match finished 10 minutes prior to the start of the main national news on BBC1 at 6pm, but there was no mention of the match in the 30-minute bulletin.
If the match had involved England, instead of Northern Ireland, would the match have got a mention on the national news?

Then the next day, Northern Ireland won eight medals (three gold, two silver, and three bronze) at the Commonwealth Games, but it did not merit a mention in the main national news which started at 6pm on BBC1.
If it had been England's best-ever day at a Commonwealth Games, would it have got a mention on the national news?

These are just two examples of the institutional racism that exists at the BBC. What is the BBC going to do about it?


I disagree with Mr Hastings. Not mentioning Northern Ireland's, or Wales' or Scotland's achievements on news programmes is hardly racism, no matter how flexibly one wishes to stretch the term. There might be a fair accusation of bias, but the bias isn't against Northern Ireland, or Wales or Scotland, but a bias against England.

The fact is that if I want to know what has happened in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland I can watch the national news on Newsline, Wales Today or Reporting Scotland, the one nation that doesn't have a national news programme is England (it has many regional news programmes but not a single national one), and therein lies the difficulty for BBC News at Six and News at Ten; they have to double up as both the UK "national news" and the English national news and tend to fall between two stools.

Giving details about Northern Ireland's sporting achievements, which will be repeated on Newsline 25 minutes later, crowds out English News; not giving the details of Northern Ireland's achievements upsets people like Mr Hastings.

My main news viewing is S4C's Newyddion. Produced by the BBC it is a mixture of Welsh, UK wide and international news which always gives a Welsh prospective on stories from outside Wales. It is similar in mix to the Scottish Six that was proposed in days gone by as the best way of presenting Scottish News.

Surely the best way forward is for the BBC to translate Newyddion's format into English in Wales, to have a Scottish six and ten, to have similar programmes for Northern Ireland and to allow England to have an English National news programme twice a day!


  1. National news means UK , so all should be mentioned.England as u said has regional programmes and there are Welsh, Irish and Scots that live in England and cant get other news.

  2. Quite so. The same goes for radio, too. I listen BBC R4 for an authoritative UK-wide perspective on things, but much of what is broadcast is relevant to England alone. The English local stations simply don't hold a candle to BBC Radio Wales for coverage of national events, though. BBC Radio Cymru strives to reach the same standard, but is limited by both cost issues and the fact that they choose not to conduct interviews in English.

    I assume Scotland and Northern Ireland have excellent BBC national stations, as well. But who is the odd-one-out here? Ah, yes, the anti-English bias once more. Auntie does devolution better than most, it must be admitted, but hasn't really grasped the nettle of how to present England to the English.

  3. little Norn Iron dominate the Boxing in Delhi!