Saturday, January 22, 2011

Does the Media Possess a DNA?

He thinks the BBC does.

Left-wing bias? It's written through the BBC's very DNA, says Peter Sissons

From this article, extracted from When One Door Closes by Peter Sissons:-

For 20 years I was a front man at the BBC, anchoring news and current ­affairs programmes, so I reckon nobody is better placed than me to ­answer the question that nags at many of its viewers — is the BBC biased? In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the ­pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’. At the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left. By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. ­Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on ­running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover. In the later stages of my career, I lost count of the number of times I asked a producer for a brief on a story, only to be handed a copy of The Guardian and told ‘it’s all in there’.

...I am in no doubt that the majority of BBC staff vote for political parties of the Left. But it’s impossible to do ­anything but guess at the numbers whose beliefs are on the Right or even Centre-Right. This is because the one thing guaranteed to damage your career prospects at the BBC is letting it be known that you are at odds with the prevailing and deep-rooted BBC attitude towards Life, the Universe, and Everything.

At any given time there is a BBC line on everything of importance, a line usually adopted in the light of which way its senior echelons believe the political wind is ­blowing...Whatever the United Nations is associated with is good — it is heresy to question any of its activities. The EU is also a good thing, but not quite as good as the UN...All green and environmental groups are very good things. Al Gore is a saint. George Bush was a bad thing, and thick into the bargain. Obama was not just the Democratic Party’s candidate for the White House, he was the BBC’s...Islam must not be offended at any price, although ­Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.

...for the BBC, independence is not a banner it carries ­principally on behalf of the listener or viewer. Rather, it is the name it gives to its ability to act at all times in its own best interests. its core is news, and BBC News is an unhappy place, under-performing and directionless.

Paradoxically, it’s never had more people involved in journalist training and laying down editorial guidelines.

What it lacks is a leader...who will draw a line on political correctness; who’s not afraid to hire some people who don’t fit the BBC ­template; who will kick backsides when merited; who will promote solely on talent; who will remind all interest groups that they don’t have an entitlement to BBC airtime; and who will do the job for the prestige and not the money...

This sounds so much like the Israel Broadcasting Authority and its dependence on Haaretz with the rest of the bias characteristics thrown in.


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