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Hat tip: “Bias at the Beeb?”

By Editor
August 16th, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Comments Off on Hat tip: “Bias at the Beeb?” | Posted in BBC

Hat tip: Here is a very interesting report compiled by the Centre for Policy Studies looking at BBC online reporting of think tanks. The report appears robust, relying on objective quantitative methods to examine reporting slant.

And the results are pretty conclusive. BBC bias is there for all to see.

If you are a left-leaning think tank you are more likely to be reported without qualification or described by the BBC as “independent”;  if you are a right-leaning think tank then you are much more likely to receive a “health warning” ( an indicator of the think-tanks ideological viewpoint e.g “right of centre think tank Y”).

The report also finds that coverage in The Guardian is a much stronger predictor of coverage by the BBC than is coverage in The Daily Telegraph. (That might be explained by just how many Guardian newspapers the BBC purchases).

The findings and conclusions are not new. But the approach taken by the author of this report appears to be far less subjective than previous studies, making these findings much more compelling.

Of course at face value there is a bit of a “so what?” about it. As the CPS recognises “…who, apart from the think-tanks themselves, really cares if the IPPR is more likely to be referred to as “independent” than the Centre for Policy Studies?” But issue here is that these findings could well be indicative of a much wider problem in areas of BBC reporting where slant is harder to measure. That should set a lot of people thinking.

If you find yourself with time over the weekend, this 14 page report is well worth a read.

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