Bias comes in many guises. A Biased BBC reader notes concern about the BBC using non-BBC material on news bulletins and their NORTHERN IRELAND website without declaration or caveat;
“In the case of the driver last night in Newtownabbey a clip of the incident was played this morning at 9am on Radio Ulster with I think no introduction at all and certainly no mention of the source of the material and without the usual “the BBC has not been able to verify this” caveat as done on Syria.
This was what they did last summer by endlessly displaying at the top of their website, the clip supplied by Sinn Fein of the band parading in circles outside St Patrick’s which emphasis ensured marches along Donegall Street became a huge issue for months, and will be for decades. They also failed entirely to put the matter in any context e.g. one small fact being circling was what the band did when the parade stopped, anywhere. Do they have protocols for such use of externally supplied material and if so why aren’t they using them here? Would they use the same editorial judgment to broadcast if it was a strike and picket by hospital or transport workers (like BA stewards two years ago)?”
Subsequently the BBC have rephrased the wording to the incident. The are no longer claiming he was a road user?? However the BBC are still saying he was stopped from trying to visit his seriously ill wife in hospital. This is completely at odds with the eye witness accounts.
BBC NI website 16.47 12 Jan
‘In Rathcoole in Newtownabbey, a distressed pensioner pleaded with protesters to let him pass through a road block so he could make his way to visit his seriously ill wife in hospital.
The protesters jeered at the elderly man and refused to let him through.’
BBC presenter William Crawley has been lobbing fairly provocative if seemingly innocuous comment on to his Facebook page every couple of hours says:
- Contrary to rumours of fake audio, the recording of a distressed pensioner last night was made by BBC reporters live at the scene.
Impartially reporting the facts or vigourously pursuing an agenda?