It is not doing its duties as a public broadcasting service.
As a broadcaster owned by the public, you would expect that the BBC would seek to inform and educate. That it would be free from the flaws of the other outlets who depend so much on advertisers and clickbait style reporting. This though would be woefully naive. The BBC is the worst broadcaster when it comes to informed debate.
The BBC has fallen so far from its own standards that the decline in national discourse can be at least partially put in their corner. Years of propping up Farage led to the momentum behind his ideas and Leave. Despite the fact it was a platform he never earned, and one his rivals who actually made it into Parliament (such as the Greens) never got.
Not only that but the BBC have facilitated a toxic and pointless discourse on trans rights and climate denial. Whenever Andrew Neil is confronted with someone who is an expert in climate science, he shuts them down. The BBC thinks informed debate is having someone who knows what they are talking about and then having them opposite a screaming fool. That’s why we still have climate debates even though the overwhelming majority of scientists support the idea of climate change. It’s why the BBC every single week on its shows (radio and TV) have had ‘debates’ on trans rights, usually by inviting anti-trans bigots onto shows to preach hatred, and to ignore all evidence. They are not experts. The BBC gives platforms to the loudest and most ignorant voices.
“The BBC gives platforms to the loudest and most ignorant voices”
Steve Bannon, the fascist who helped propel Trump to power, was invited onto Newsnight in May. In October, Nicola Sturgeon refused to take part in a BBC hosted event which Steve Bannon was invited to speak at the conference. In early November, Jordan Peterson was invited to Question Time. Peterson is an alt-right voice, and one that should not be given any prominence. He has stated that men should have wives, when the main topic of the day was whether to ‘redistribute sex’ (The Handmaid’s Tale is a warning, everyone and not fantasy).
The BBC are not widening up debate. To do that, they would have to give equal time to progressive voices but the most progressive they go is a Labour MP. There are no BLM activists on their shows. There are no left wing leading activist voices. We get self-styled vloggers and trolls who built up platforms of hate. It is not equal. It’s a debate completely skewed toward the right.
Additionally, the BBC have even been alarming themselves. They might be thankful a delete button exists on Twitter after they asked whether Bolsonaro was a “refreshing” break from political correctness, but when they keep inviting such extreme right wing figures onto their shows then it’s really no surprise that people are sceptical that it was a badly worded accident and not a sign of deeper underlying biases at the broadcaster.
Most BBC journalists are privately educated, many were past Tory members (including Nick Robinson) and the Chairman for The BBC Trust, Chris Patten, is a former Conservative cabinet minister. The BBC has always been more sympathetic to the right, and that’s shown by the stories it chooses to focus on and those to ignore. Except for during the winter when the NHS crisis cannot be ignored, the BBC barely focuses on cuts, for example. It’s also barely reported on the crisis disabled people are facing due to austerity. However, the BBC has lurched to give platforms to the far right now and it is appalling. The public deserve better and the BBC is failing in its duty as a public broadcaster to provide informed opinions and fair and balanced coverage. It is an absolute disgrace. If you want the news, don’t trust the BBC.
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