How does the BBC measure truth?
Who in the BBC determines what measure to apply when reporting the truth, who defines mythology, what moral authority acts as judge and jury whilst branding people’s words as untruthful.
An investigation by News-watch found the BBC demonstrated clear bias towards the remain side of the EU referendum, after analysing 40 additions of Newsnight.
The flagship show was found to be more pro-EU after 40 episodes were assessed between January 2016 and March 12th 2016.
An unbiased BBC …….
“Stuff that seems like a great idea to say, can make some nutter do stuff”, a quote from BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Daniel Sandford.
We constantly hear claims of mainstream media bias, ordinary people witnessing particular story lines that favour a particular political argument whilst ignoring, diminishing or demonising opposing viewpoints. When we scratch the surface, one can often identify the persuasion of the individual who is reporting.
In an industry where we are repeatedly reminded that balance and, understanding all aspects of a news story is paramount, we are often found wanting when we consider the news-feed as it is presented.
Reporting news in a biased way is not a new phenomenon, if we examine individual news outlets, we soon understand that particular news groups favour specific beliefs, culture, persuasion, way of life, lifestyle or lifestyle choices, but what if the news presenter is bought and paid for using our taxes, our license fees?
A state broadcaster funded in such a way belongs to everyone and has a responsibility to deliver absolute balance, placing fact ahead of fantasy with no manipulation.
William Matchett is a former (RUC) Special Branch Detective Inspector and author “The Secret Victory”, the intelligence war that beat the IRA.
Recently we hear William speaking about the media …………. “Who sets the story in the media, who determines what goes out on the main/regional news.
There seems to be no appetite for, here’s a rather good Evidence Based Counter Narrative to what’s happening at the moment, it just doesn’t seem to be sexy enough”.
In recent weeks (January/February 2018) the British public watched as a high profile court case involving Darren Osborne, the man accused of driving a van into Muslim worshipers as they left Finsbury Park Mosque in North London.
As the court case progressed, we learn that Darren Osborne originally conspired to attack the Al Quds Day March in London and although his original intention did not come to fruition, he wrote a note explaining exactly why he felt the need to carry out such an attack.
In his note he cited reasons such as; recent terrorist attacks, children being splattered against walls in concert halls, white girls being raped in Rotherham, terrorists marching on the streets of London (this being a reference to the Al Quds Day March).
In his note he was also very critical of Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan.
We also learn, Darren Osborne’s estranged partner gave evidence that Darren had been radicalised after seeing a BBC documentary “Three Girls”, about young girls being sexually exploited by Muslim men.
As part of the Darren Osborne (Finsbury Park) court case, it was suggested by the Crown Prosecution Service, prior to Darren carrying out his attack, he had been contacted by Tommy Robinson and Jayda Fransen.
Although the Crown Prosecutors did not state specifically the detail of these contacts, it later transpired that Tommy Robinson did not have any direct contact with Darren Osborne and he (Osborne) had been receiving mailing-list emails from Rebel Media, a company that Tommy Robinson had worked for.
The only contact Jayda Fransen had with Mr. Osborne was in the form of an automated Twitter response.
In the days surrounding the Darren Osborne trial, many mainstream media outlets proceeded to report, Tommy Robinson and Jayda Fransen both contacted Darren Osborne in the days prior to the attack at Finsbury Park and although this claim by the Crown Prosecution Service was technically untrue, various media outlets continued to make more of the alleged Tommy Robinson connection (often accompanying trial headlines with large images of Tommy Robinson) than that of Mr. Osborne who was the only defendant in this trial.
On 27th January 2018 with reference the alleged Tommy Robinson/Finsbury Park connection, the BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Daniel Sandford interviewed Mr. Robinson.
Responding to an accusation by Tommy Robinson, “the BBC hides the truth”, Daniel Sandford of the BBC replied, “We report the truth but we try to report it in a measured way”.
“Lots of people would say, it’s all about how you say it and you have to be careful”.
Although Daniel Sandford admitted knowing the alleged contacts between Tommy Robinson and Jayda Fransen had been in the form of mailing-list/automated contact, Mr. Sandford continued to accuse Tommy Robinson of inflaming Mr. Osborne.
Daniel Sandford, “I actually think you need to be more, personally I think you ought to be more thoughtful, stuff that seems like a great idea to say, can make some nutter do stuff” (End)
I quote Mr. Sandford once more ……..
“Stuff that seems like a great idea to say, can make some nutter do stuff”.
Perhaps it would be sensible if Daniel Sandford and the BBC grasped the very meaning of Sandford’s own words, for the following reason ………..
In the days surrounding the Finsbury Park trial and as a direct consequence of the BBC and other media outlets “REPORTING THE TRUTH IN A MEASURED WAY”, Tommy Robinson’s wife and family received death threats. On one occasion a member of the Muslim Community (using an online video) threatened to kill Mr. Robinson’s wife and children.
Reporting the truth in a measured way, brought to you by the BBC ……
In recent weeks I have been following several national and regional BBC news stories on the subject of Brexit. Whilst watching/listening, one couldn’t help notice the battle ground that has opened up with reference the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Given the Irish Republic currently remains part of the European Union, those who are on the remain side of the European debate, including many high profile Politicians (past and present) have felt the need to become involved in stirring up tensions, inflating the Irish Border to be a so called “huge problem”.
On the 15th February as part of the BBC Radio ‘Talk Back’ programme, the presenter William Crawley interviewed Shaun Woodward; Labour Politician and former Secretary Of State for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Woodard talked about a huge crisis with very little time left, a crisis that puts peace in Northern Ireland at risk. Woodward goes onto to say, “we could see a return to violence”.
He further suggested, “If the British Government steps in to take control of the collapsed Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly and effectively restores Direct Rule from Westminster, the position Teresa Mays Government has put itself in, it is not possible to contemplate, that there WILL be violence in Northern Ireland”.
On one occasion Mr. Crawley asked Mr. Woodward, “What do you mean by a major Crisis”, Woodward answered by saying, “We could see a return to violence”.
Not long after this interview, I tagged William Crawley on a social media post with reference the Interview with Shaun Woodward.
I wrote, “Why did William Crawley not challenge this threatening language with the obvious question, who will return the people of Northern Ireland to violence”?
William Crawley responded, “He clearly wasn’t threatening violence, he expressed worry that violence may escalate in the context of a political vacuum, when I pursued the point, he was clear that he was not suggesting that there could be a return to the troubles”
Then I remembered what the BBCs Home Affairs Correspondent had said to Tommy Robinson, “Stuff that seems like a great idea to say, can make some nutter do stuff”.
I continued to message William Crawley, “Who do you think he (Woodward) meant would go back to violence”?
I asked if William would accept that Shaun Woodward’s only intention was political point scoring against the conservatives and if some Republican Nut-jobs take it upon themselves to kill or blow someone up, does this make him (William Crawley) somehow responsible for not challenging this dangerous language, the validity of Woodward’s claims”?
A few days later on the 16th February 2018 whilst listening to BBC Radio Talk Back, I listened as William Crawley challenged a Northern Ireland Unionist contributor to a debate by saying, “Part of my job is, we don’t allow the proliferation of mythology and untruth”.
I immediately raised a post on social media quoting what William had said, with the message, “William Crawley I am so glad you made this statement”.
So here we have a BBC presenter telling the public, “Part of my job is, we don’t allow the proliferation of mythology or untruth” and yet, when I cast my mind back to the Shaun Woodward interview, Shaun Woodward had a free run too propagate dangerous mythology and untruth.
I proceeded to ask William Crawley, “does your statement apply to Shaun Woodward or is he exempt ? (I got no answer)
In William Crawley’s defence, on the 26th February on BBC Radio Talk Back, he did challenge a contributor who attempted to scaremonger, using the Irish border as a threat to the Peace Process but on the 28th February, William yet again permitted the propagation mythology and untruth.
People, what is the remit of a public broadcaster, as I have written from the outset, only a fool would swallow the fantasy that our mainstream media is unbiased and as people we accept this but what if the supplier of news is bought and paid for with our taxes, surely this gives citizens the absolute right too expect/demand “truth and balance” in an unadulterated way.
As in the words of the BBCs Daniel Sandford, “We report the truth but we try to report it in a measured way”.
William Crawley, “Part of my job is, we don’t allow the proliferation of mythology or untruth”.
Who in the BBC determines what measure to apply when reporting the truth, who defines mythology, what moral authority acts as judge and jury whilst branding people’s words as untruth?
Telling of Truth in a measured way, the proliferation of dangerous mythology and untruth can result in people losing their lives, who then is ultimately responsible if (in the words of Daniel Sandford) some nutter takes it upon themselves to do stuff?
Are the BBC responsible?