The Today programme claims to set the news agenda for Radio 4 each day. Well, it certainly tries its best, and its own agenda is often plain to hear.

The Sky News website publishes an invaluable daily gallery of the UK newspaper front pages. Which of the lead stories found there today were ignored by the Today programme’s paper reviews?

Well, besides some tabloid gossip about Posh and Becks, two leads were conspicuous by their absence from any of the programme’s three slots (at 6.12, 6.40 & 7.40).

The first was the Times‘s ‘ I won’t be rushed out of Afghanistan – Petraeus’. Above the article is a photo of laughing, open-faced Afghan girls under the banner ‘Exultant: faces of freedom in a war-torn land’. Why would the defeatist, anti-this-war Today programme choose to completely ignore this lead story?

The presenters did have time to mention the Independent and the Guardian‘s take on Bob Woodward’s new book on the Obama administration’s Afghan squabbles, with John Humphrys reading out a paean to Mr Woodward.

It’s even easier to guess why they ignored the other lead – an immigration story from the Express – ‘How migrants snatched our homes’, concerning a group of Lithuanian squatters “terrorising part of east London“.

The angle taken by the Telegraph and Mail regarding the speech on anti-social behaviour by Denis O’Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary – ‘Police give up the fight as yobs take over’ and ‘Police: We have let yobs rule streets’ – was mentioned by the presenters, but how did the Today website, which also made it its lead story, choose to angle the subject?: “The Chief Inspector of Constabulary says that police efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour in England and Wales must not suffer because of spending cuts.” Ah yes, budget cuts!

“Our job is to ensure we remain absolutely impartial and present the facts to our audiences – without following any agendas,” said Helen Boaden, director of BBC news. Really?

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27 Responses to PAPER TRAIL

  1. Martin says:

    I notice that the BBC are ‘bigging’ up the burning Koran story. Yet again the BBC ignore non Muslims being murdered or brutalised by Muslims but just like the Muzzie women on the bus story the BBC will no doubt simply ignore this story when it turns out to be a fuss about nothing.


    • Dazed-and-Confused says:


      If you Watch this video, then you’ll see it’s just a group of local Chavs behind some pub in Gateshead, burning the Koran to get themselves on you tube.

      The glorious (sic) UAF are trying to make out that this was the work of the EDL, but it’s not, (I phoned the landlord of the pub two days ago when the story initially broke) They’re just local Asbo loaded d***h***s, looking to be clever.


  2. George R says:

    Yes, and as ‘Jihadwatch’ points out:

    “Is burning a book illegal in Britain? Would someone who burned a Bible be arrested? I think probably not, because British authorities know that no Christians would go ape and start killing innocent people if someone burned a Bible. That means that most likely these men were arrested because Muslims are likely to commit acts of irrational violence in response to their action. But that, in fact, is solely the responsibility of the Muslims in question, not of the Qur’an-burners. It is breathtaking how easily the West has assumed responsibility for the insanely violent reactions of Muslims to provocations that, if they had been directed toward Christians or Jews, would have been greeted with indifference.”

    But when it comes to Muslims burning Bibles, INBBC is silent:

    Iranian security forces burn hundreds of Bibles, Christians riot — no, wait…


  3. Phil says:

    When your noble task includes the obligation to inform and educate the little people it is sometimes necessary to skip the inform bit in order to educate them properly. 


  4. Olly boy says:

    As I mentioned on the Open Thread, the BBC choose not to acknowledge the last 13 years in which this problem has become significantly worse. They also ignore the fact that this problem hasn’t improved despite the vast amounts of money Labour pumped into policing. So maybe throwing a load of money at the problem isn’t the answer?

    The BBC mantra seems to be whatever the problem is blame it on the cuts because cuts are always bad. Simple isn’t it?


  5. Millie Tant says:

    One minute the BBC is claiming that it reports without any agendas but the next it is claiming to set the agenda.

    Craig mentions Today’s claim to set the agenda. Start the Week boasts that it sets the cultural agenda.

    Beeboids are knee-deep in agendas and agenda-setting.


    • Martin says:

      I complained to the morons at the BBC when they did report the lie about the Muzzie women on the bus and the REAL story they didn’t report about the muzzie bus driver who wouldn’t allow a man and his guide dog on a bus.

      The reply from the drugged up duty beeboid was pathetic with some mindless waffle about how the BBC has to decide what to report and what not to report (it also took them months to write back)

      Utter tossers.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I’ve gotten the impression that Today is actually just the first serious salvo of the BBC’s agenda for the day.  The agenda is decided in editorial meetings, and is spread all across the spectrum at the same time.  The News Channel and World Service and 5 Live will have the same agenda going at the same time as Today.

    Even if we accept that Today does set the news agenda, this is admitting that all BBC channels and programmes have the same agenda and there is no editorial independence anywhere on the BBC.  Which is what this site has been saying for years.


    • Grant says:

      David P,
      Exactly. The evidence is so utterly overwhelning it seems incredible that any sane person can deny it. The BBC has a political agenda which it pursues with relentless ruthlessness.


  7. sue says:

    The 7am news headlines on radio 4 this morning. The first three items were our favourite subjects, arguably in order of degree of bias. First Israel and the UN HR report, next Climate change and Prof Rejendra Pachauri, and finally “cuts.”  It made me smile.


  8. Dick the Prick says:

    Quite right too – the Lithuanian story was simply a redress of our colonial pilaging and they claimed their rights of home ownership… this right?Ed


  9. Martin says:

    You can bet the BBC won’t be happy with this claim

    1.5% I’d say it’s less than that in the general population, more like 0.1% except at the BBC where it’s compulsory (and Brighton where it is a badge of honour)


  10. Phil says:

    Why does anyone listen to the Today programme? What is the point?

    It’s for dull people who need to inject some urgency into their live as they plod yet again to catch the 7.30 train into town.


  11. cjhartnett says:

    Heard just a bit of the Monatgue/Humphrys fiasco called Today.
    Roger Harrabin says that that Indian engineer that runs global warming lies and scams had made “an error” and was being punished for a “mistake” in saying that the Himalayas will turn to slush in the next few years…amateur hype and lies?…deceit for funds and acres on the Radio Guardian?…nah mate…an oversight…of course!

    Anyone tell me how the great god sport gets so much acreage? Anyone give a stuff if the Pakistanis fiddle cricket-or that New Delhi might not have enough mozzies for security or whatever! 

    Did I hear that Ali Desai was at the scene of the Mark Saunders shoot out?( albeit snatched on P.M). Surely the left-liberal media will inform us about why their favourite cop was there…or are they going to go all Gary Glitter on us?


  12. cjhartnett says:

    My ramblings above were not the point!
    Phil is of course right-listened to a cassette in the car instead of Godawful Toadyshow!
    One line of Leonard Cohens “The Future” or Nick Caves “We call upon the author” says more about the world we live in now than months of Beebland slops and platitudes.
    Turn off your radio and put on a CD (or a tape!)…much better for the soul


  13. JohnW says:

    Yes, Mz Boaden, we know very well that’s your job. The problem is, your organisation consciously refuses to do it!


  14. DaveShaw says:

    ASBO and Cuts in Print :


  15. james1070 says:

    Why isn’t the BBC mentioning that the Commonwealth Games is using child labour. They keep having children history shows about chimney sweeps or child miners in Victorian times. Is’nt this a double standard, white man 150 yrs ago bad, but lets cover up what the rest of the world does. They may be called racist.
    Oddly enough, my old man was working down the docks as a 14 yr old in the 1950’s, but this does not fit into the post war story of Britain, as according to the BBC it was the age of Labour.


  16. Barbara says:

    How interesting that the alleged book burners were immediately arrested, but those who trashed the Starbucks in London and frightened living people, those who rioted in the streets of London, those who shouted threats of violence and ethnic slurs towards Jews, somehow it took the police months to find them, and not all of them were charged.

    Disgusting.  This is why I am not coming back to the UK.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Good point.  I forgot about that.   Now that you mention it, the BBC condemned one but not the other.