From the Guardian:
John Whittingdale told the corporation its track record was ‘not faultless’ and it needed to correct ‘erroneous views’ quickly, letters reveal
The culture secretary warned the BBC that it must be impartial in covering the EU referendum and act quickly to tackle complaints about “erroneous views”, it has emerged.
John Whittingdale wrote to Rona Fairhead, chair of the BBC Trust, and broadcast regulator Ofcom, claiming that the corporation’s “track record in coverage of EU matters is not faultless”.
Whittingdale, who sent the letters in June but only made them public on Thursday night, said that the BBC and Ofcom should act on complaints about EU referendum coverage within 24 hours.
“The potential for unwarranted distortions to informed debate bears high risks,” he said. “And the longer that erroneous views or partial coverage are allowed to stand unchallenged or uncorrected, the greater the chance of public and democratic detriment.”
He said that Ofcom currently can “expedite” investigations into complaints about coverage in seven to 10 days, adding that it is in the public interest to slash this to as short a timeframe as possible.
“Where lapses occur, it is of course vital to the public that adequate and proportionate corrections are made in prompt order,” he said. “In light of the huge importance the public will place on the EU referendum, and the coverage of it by broadcasters, I would encourage Ofcom and the BBC Trust as the responsible regulators to consider whether your respective processes for redress for complaints which are upheld are as efficient and timely as possible.”
In 2005, an independent report commissioned by the BBC’s board of governors found that the corporation was guilty of “cultural and unintentional bias” in coverage of Europe
Why would he ever consider that the BBC would receive any complaints about its EU referendum coverage?
I wonder if that will include the BBC’s coverage of the ‘European’ migration crisis in which it has helped to apply massive pressure upon Cameron to change his asylum policies.
The BBC independent? Not when it takes part in the political arguments and tries to influence them itself.