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Twitter Users Respond to the Prompt: 'Report Major News Like the BBC'

By Petr Knava | Social Media | January 18, 2021 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | January 18, 2021 |


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In terms of its political coverage, the BBC is an absolute joke. Well, something far worse than that. A joke implies there might be some humour found in the situation somewhere. That’s not the case with the BBC, which sits comfortably alongside the rest of the wretched cast of players that is the mainstream of the UK media—a racist, propagandising bunch of thugs—while pretending to ‘hold power to account’ and ‘provide balanced reporting’. The BBC’s myth is that it is impartial. It is anything but. In the past half decade or so, when an incredibly rare challenge to that status quo appeared, it really showed its colours, and played its part in ensuring that the UK would continue on the path it is today.

As Tom Mills, journalist and author of ‘BBC: Myth of a Public Service’ put it:

[I]t is important to state from the outset what is rarely acknowledged in discussions about the BBC: that it isn’t independent from governments, let alone from the broader Establishment. The BBC has always been formally accountable to ministers for its operations. Governments set the terms under which it operates, they appoint its most senior figures, who in future will be directly involved in day-to-day managerial decision making, and they set the level of the licence fee, which is the BBC’s major source of income. So that’s the context within which the BBC operates, and it hardly amounts to independence in any substantive sense.

[…]

I think the most straightforward way of putting this is that the BBC will aim to fairly and accurately reflect the balance of opinion amongst elites [my emphasis]. In that respect it’s not so different to other reputable media organisations. But a number of studies suggest the range of opinion on the BBC is narrower than some of its rivals. Channel 4 News tends, I think, to have a broader range of perspectives, and the recent Media Reform Coalition’s report on the coverage of Corbyn found that the BBC gave much more airtime to Corbyn’s opponents than ITV.

Anywho, one of the key figures at the BBC is Laura Kuenssberg, the political editor of BBC News. She has a fun Wiki entry!

Her paternal grandfather was Ekkehard von Kuenssberg, a co-founder, and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners who had also been appointed a CBE, in the 1969 Birthday Honours. Her maternal grandfather was Lord Robertson, a judge of the Scots High Court of Justiciary, whose brother, James Wilson Robertson, was the last British Governor-General of Nigeria. Her older brother David is executive director of finance and resources at Brighton and Hove City Council. Her elder sister Joanna Kuenssberg is a former diplomat who has served as high commissioner to Mozambique.

Normal, average stuff.

Kuenssberg is representative of the BBC’s political coverage in two ways: Her reporting is incredibly biased and hostile towards the left, and it’s just not very good. Kuenssberg and her ilk are not journalists. They are, as Chomsky puts it, stenographers of power. In the UK, this has reached cartoonish levels over the past few years. Here’s conservative journalist and commentator Peter Oborne on the state of the UK’s political reporting:

And here he is, in a piece for The Guardian (also complicit), referring to Kuenssberg specifically:

In October Jill Rutter, a senior research fellow at The UK in a Changing Europe, highlighted the way in which many senior journalists, including the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, had become overly dependent on private briefings from Johnson’s strategy chief, Dominic Cummings. “This way of operating does the public a big disservice,” Rutter said. “It allows Downing Street to get its message out without having to take responsibility for it.”

When Johnson made his notorious “there is no press here” claim in front of the cameras at Whipps Cross hospital in east London- while being quizzed by a father anxious over his sick daughter - Kuenssberg came to his rescue. Passing over the prime minister’s falsehood at the time, she sent out a tweet stating that the father was a Labour activist.

I said at the outset that though the BBC’s political coverage is a joke, it’s really not funny. I was wrong. Here’s Laura Kuenssberg reporting on the fascist violence that shook the US Capitol earlier this month:

Naturally, Twitter did its thing:

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.



Header Image Source: Twitter