Here is an interesting analysis of a BBC News bulletin provided by a B-BBC reader;

“The one o’clock news bulletin on BBC television today, the twelfth August 2011, was merely typical of all BBC news bulletins, but it would be useful to put it into a specimen bottle, for examination when- that is never!- the editorial slanting of BBC news reporting is subjected to full and detailed analysis.

In this bulletin the news editor launched the slur that Cameron had sought to take credit for using effective force against the rioters after the police leaders had been slow to intervene. (The BBC should be told to state their evidence for this or retract.) The left-wing misrepresentation of this claim is blatant beacause the Prime minister’s delayed arrival on the scene made this an issue which he would not and could not seek to exploit. Nevertheless when such a ploy is launched it is repeated as fact by other left-wing media colleagues. This evening, a Sky News political editor reported that some police chiefs whose names he could not divulge were secretly angry that Cameron was seeking personal credit.- real hard evidence! He then showed a clip of the Prime Minister talking on the subject with the tact and restraint that he had always maintained when this topic had been presented to him. The Sky commentator went on to give his authoritative verdict that Mr. Camer! on had moderated his attitude from the previous day, making an assumption into fact. Nice one!

The BBC bulletin targeted the Prime minister alone for raising this question in the parliamentary debate – with the sub-text that it was a preoccupation confined to the right wing. In fact, the BBC editor, as part of his duties must have seen the strong criticism to which Mr. Cameron was subjected from all parts of the house on the government’s failure to protect life and property during the agonising hours when the police applied the policy of non-provocative stand-off while rioters ran amok. If an objective reporter had chosen instead to quote the strongest expression of the indignation felt over this in the chamber, the words chosen would probably be those of Graham Stringer as eye witness and Labour Member for Manchester Blackley. The BBC was choosing to ignore also the harrowing testimony of thousands of citizens.

The last device of the BBC editor was to bring on the senior policemen. Previously, the left wing media would have represented them as the bungling enforcers of a Fascist state and would have only pointed their cameras at them if they were surrounded by reporters shouting repetitive questions and political and personal insults. However by a glorious irony, the BBC is now seeing these appointees of Tony Blair as absolute defenders of principle, who should have the authority to act without the interference of politicians. The Police leaders were therefore treated with reverence, as the bastions standing against the right wing political reaction of recent days.

The political purpose of what had preceded was made clear when a senior BBC News Editor was then interviewed to tell us that he was decreeing that the public debate should now move on (from the nasty matter about an ungovernable state – although he did not say so) to an examination of the reasons why the rioters/ protesters had acted in this way. We were given the warning that those who control the media were asserting themselves to divert attention from the realities of the previous week to the traditional theme of the guilt of the law-abiding victim. Evening broadcasts when inarticulate rioters nevertheless produced pre-primed sentences in this vein confirmed this.”

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  1. matthew rowe says:

    Good post ! I have to say at the moment the police are are well below the AA as people I would phone in a emergency ,their service or force ? has been so politicised by labour that cops now out number Labour MPs in prison and ACPO is doing well  in the socialist making cash game while moralising about everyone elses .that they are starting to amount to a labour armed wing !


  2. Martin says:

    Plod has been reduced to a joke over the last 13 years under Nu Liebore.

    The quicker the Tories bring in elected police chiefs the better.


  3. Henry says:

    Excellent post. I’ve always wanted to pick apart one news bulletin word for word. Maybe if I have time I will. There are almost always issues with the choice of news items, the questions asked about them, the choice of words used by the reader, tone of voice, the people brought on to be interviewed, the way the interviews are conducted, the list goes on…  
    Naughty question: how legally binding is the commitment to impartiality?


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Thanks David.
    There is a bias index to be set up here…i.e Cameron “demands” on Radio 4s new bulletins whereas he “states” on Radio3.
    Not that Radio3 will always be as blameless given the “BBC Family of Stations” presumably having common ” principles”-but let us give credit where it is due.
    Divide and rule-praise Radio3 and slate Radio4 perhaps?
    In the case above…I`m sure that Mr Milband would merly “suggest” in all his wisdom and general greatness and niceness.
    Could he do other?…not when The Man needs sticking to!
    Not a nice thought to leave you with…but hope we can move on!


  5. cjhartnett says:

    Hope you do so Henry…Craigs templates are a great start!
    Good point re “impartiality”…a test case perhaps with tapes, and a threat to bring it to Kate Boyle or whoever replaced her at the EBU!
    A Eurovision Appeal Case sounds just what the EuroDream was meant to inspire…would happily take my chances to any Judges that included Stuart Hall and Petula Clarke.
    That great fanfare of a tune?…It`s a Knockout rules?…and no shortage of jokers to be played.
    Most of them have been playing us for fools and fiddling for way too long to be funny…but never mind!…)


  6. Louis Robinson says:

    Henry, do it! Write a piece on one news bulletin. Count how much of what is reported are events that have ACTUALLITY HAPPENED. Watch out for non-news events like reports, surveys, polls and opinions from politicans and celebrities.

    And along with the tone of voice look out for: the sly smile of incredulity; the forrowed frown of disbelief; the gentle smile of comfort and (usually with flying saucer stories) the hearty joviality of the superior being – the newsman/woman.  

    AND don’t forget the eyebrow of doubt. The eyebrow of doubt is the subtle signal that what the reader is reading may not be true. Example: “Mr. Cameron says he has the best interests of the public at heart” (raise eyebrow). 

    “So that’s it from me. Fionna will be along with the news summary at 10:30. But now (the smirk of superiority) the news in your part of the country.”