Where would the BBC be without it’s regular diet of “surveys”, “reports” and “enquiries” ? On Radio Four’s seven o’clock news this morning, the first three of four stories were all supplied to the BBC. While I’m not a great fan of the journalist Nick Davies’ analytical capabilities, his observational skills are first class – and in his book Flat Earth news he charges that too many news organisations are content to regurgitate the press releases without enquiring into the motives behind them.
Today’s top story featured an organisation new to me, the “Independent Asylum Commission“, which has produced a report lambasting Britain for its appalling treatment of asylum seekers. Said report is getting top billing on BBC news.
The morning is young, and I have work to do. But given that the Commission is sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, what are the odds that it will turn out to consist of pro-asylum, pro-immigration activists ? If any commenters have time to dig I’d be grateful.
Let’s look at another “independent” organisation.
From BBC News a while back :
Reforms of the criminal justice system are largely ineffective in cutting crime, an independent think-tank says.
The Crime and Society Foundation, at King’s College, London, says ministers should focus instead on tackling root causes such as poverty and sexism.
This ‘independent think-tank‘ is staffed by :
A former communications director for the anti-prison, pro-criminal National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders.
A former researcher for the anti-prison ‘children’s liberation’ National Children’s Bureau and the Child Poverty Action Group.
A former Communications Officer at Action for Prisoners’ Families.
A former employee of the Howard League for Penal Reform, aka the Howard League For The Abolition of Punishment.
There’s “independent”. And there’s BBC “independent”.
UPDATE – I see David and I have taken the same story this morning. Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend, as Chairman Mao once said.