Centre for Policy Studies

Thursday 15 August 2013, 17:43

Francesca Unsworth Francesca Unsworth Deputy Director, BBC News and Current Affairs

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This week the Centre for Policy Studies published a report claiming to have found a left of centre bias in the BBC’s online reporting of think tanks. They also claim right of centre think tanks are more likely to receive health warnings than their left of centre counterparts.

The CPS itself is hardly impartial on the BBC – it argues for a smaller BBC and campaigns against the licence fee.

Leaving this aside there are several points about the report that are worth noting.

The report crucially doesn’t give details of the actual news stories in which the think tanks are mentioned, omitting useful context. We don’t give health warnings about think tanks, we aim to describe them. The CPS also haven’t published their own definitions for describing the think tanks concerned - another crucial omission. Nor do they provide concrete evidence to back up their claims or publish the full methodology used – although they do point to references to searches on Wikipedia.

BBC News provides impartial and independent coverage to a quarter of a billion people across the world.

Our priority is to deliver the best services for all our audiences at home and abroad and in that we are pleased to say we are succeeding with record audiences abroad and more listeners and viewers at home than any of our competitors. We are rigorously policed by the BBC Trust, our own editorial guidelines and our own audiences. More importantly, we remain the most trusted news broadcaster in the UK.

Francesca Unsworth is Deputy Director, BBC News and Current Affairs

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  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Shocker! Right wing organisation claims BBC is left wing . Have they not noticed that the BBC Political Editor is a rabid Tory who never doesn't duck out of asking a Tory MP a difficult question
    Step forward Nick Robinson, future Tory MP.........See. We can all make accusations but it doesn't make them true. ........except that Nick Robinson is a rabid Tory!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    With their complete lack of coverage of the ongoing demolition of the NHS, I'd say that the BBC are firmly in the Government's pocket.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    What the dickens is a Think Tank, anyway? Is it where people frightened of getting real jobs, like manufacturing jobs, go to work after Oxbridge if they can't get into a place at the Conservative Research Department.

    Can't be bothered with all these semi-anonymous, self-important bodies spouting out propaganda in the name of research.

    Anybody can think - most of them just choose to think different things from the CPS - and they don't all get jobs and money and stuff for doing it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    I think the CPS is correct in getting rid of the licence fee. It is an outdated way to fund radio and television. As we have seen it leads to out of control spending.

    As for the News I think it is left wing and dare I say it reflects femail views. The One Show is extreamly left wing. My main concern is dumbing down that now exists on televison news. At the start of the nine o'clock news they tell us what they are going to cover followed half way through they remind us what they covered just in case we can't remember and then at the the end told us waht they have covered again. Of course all this just waists time and so there is no time to cover anything at depth. Medical reports are very poor in they they often report things a "Break Through" which is going to transform our lives. Infact these so called "Break Throughs" are often are far less significant. In fact I would say that much of the reporting is very shallow.

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