Monday, 9 November 2015

BBC Bias - The Little Things

There's sometimes a perception that BBC bias means the whole organisation is simply a mouthpiece for the Labour Party, a latter day Pravda grotesquely distorting the facts to promote it's own view of the world.

Understandable, but also simplistic. The BBC's bias is also a subtle and maybe subconscious reflex, as demonstrated by the headline of this fairly trivial article about the European Union referendum, which reports that the 'No' campaign are urging the incoming head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to rethink their unswerving support for EU membership.

The trouble is there isn't a 'No' campaign. After the Electoral Commission criticised the inherently biased wording of the original question it was changed from Yes or No to Leave or Remain. It is the 'Leave' campaign who are lobbying the CBI.

The BBC continue to call it the No campaign because, as the Electoral Commission ruled, this has connotations of a negative, regressive and insular stance, which is exactly how the typical BBC staffer perceives those who wish to leave the European Union.

Whether this was a conscious decision or an involuntary oversight is anyone's guess, and anyway it doesn't really matter. The BBC view is that being in the EU is inherently good, progressive and nice while leaving it is bad, and this continues to leak through into their coverage.