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Customer Review

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 1 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: Can We Trust the BBC? (Hardcover)
This is a short book, but very succinct in describing how the BBC has tended towards a single worldview, and how that view can lead the public rather than follow it.

There is much evidence of bias, for example the comparison of the BBC's headlining of Tory ministers' and MPs' affairs with the equivalent of inside pages for Robin Cook leaving his wife, followed by an account of the Governors' rejection of the author's complaints of bias, apparently accepting but not publishing BBC executives' arguments that there was no bias.

The subtle psychology of the suppression of dissent within the corporation is interestingly put, not that it can be particularly obscure that in a large organisation, those with dissenting opinions have to be careful (I suppose the important distinction is that this organisation's business is news, fact, opinion, etc., so such suppression would be worse than for others.)

A chapter with anonymous remarks from BBC journalists backs up these discussions. Of course you have to decide whether the anonymity means the remarks are merely disgruntled, or really because their owners don't dare articulate them.

There is an excellent chapter, remarked on by another reviewer, about the Panorama about the Phillipines and the Catholic church -"Sex and the Holy City", which seems to be an extreme example of bias, running to outright invention, and the author's conservative argument against this is fantastic. You can still see a large "Your Comments" page about this on the BBC's website, showing how appalled many viewers were with the church. What's interesting about that page is that the viewers would probably not have felt so strongly had they read an equivalent report in the press, because the Guardian (or the Daily Mail for that matter) do not promise balance and impartiality. In other words viewers trust the BBC and listen and watch uncritically.

Which was to me the main point to come out - I would love to watch different, openly biased programmes and channels, the way I can read the Guardian and Daily Telegraph.

Another book on the subject very well worth reading, is "Scrap the BBC!" by Richard D North.
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Location: London, GB

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