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!