It's strange that the BBC concentrates on the criticisms of the government whilst minimising reporting the criticisms of the BBC. The coverage of the BBC's reporting is left to the end of the piece and is just this:'The government's "failure" to let MPs debate EU legislation is "deplorable", a Parliamentary committee says.The European Scrutiny Committee said ministers had refused to schedule debates on issues such as free movement and the EU's Budget.
It also said BBC coverage of EU matters should be "improved substantially".
The government said the number of EU debates had doubled since 2009-10, while the BBC said its coverage was "extensive and impartial".'
'The committee has also been examining the BBC's coverage of European issues, taking evidence from director general Lord Hall and head of news James Harding earlier this month.The actual report of the Committee says this:
During that appearance, Lord Hall said the desire for balanced output "ran deep" within the BBC and he believed that this was being achieved.
Mr Harding said if the public was going to trust the BBC to report on politicians impartially it had to be clear that BBC journalists weren't "asked by politicians to come and account for what they do and in effect do the bidding of those politicians".
But the committee said it was "concerned about the manner in which the BBC treats EU issues", calling for coverage to be "improved substantially".
It suggested coverage did not reflect all sides of the debate on the European Union, and more analysis was needed.
Its chairman, Conservative MP Sir William Cash, said the BBC had "very particular obligations" to be impartial and to "educate and inform".
He added: "We do not believe this is currently being achieved in the context of the BBC's EU coverage."
A BBC spokesman said the corporation provided extensive and impartial coverage of European and Parliamentary issues, and it would be a breach of the corporation's independence if a committee of MPs instructed the BBC on its coverage.'
'84. We note that four particular aims were set out by the BBC in its Response to the Wilson Report:64F
"to offer our audiences across all platforms clear, accurate and accessible information about the way EU institutions work and their impact on UK laws and life;
"to ensure impartiality by reflecting the widest possible range of voices and viewpoints about EU issues; to test those viewpoints using evidence-based argument or informed opinion;
"to demonstrate the relationships between the different member states and the European Union.
"to reveal and explain to our audiences areas of contentious fact and disputed principle."85. Given the fact that the Wilson Report raised such serious criticisms of the BBC's treatment of EU issues, we remain profoundly unconvinced that these aims have been fulfilled.
86. We are not yet convinced that the BBC's training adequately equips BBC editors, correspondents, producers and interviewers to devise the questions and coverage to reflect all sides of the EU equation, in accordance with the BBC Charter and its obligations. We were told by Lord Hall that the organisation is "very reflective. It thinks very hard about what it is doing … The culture, I think, is one of questioning", and on the question of the complexity of the issues in question, we were told that "the challenge is to say 'this is complex; it matters. Now we, as journalists, must try to get to grips with it".65F In our view a good deal more analysis is required. '
And here is the summary:
'90. In summary, we still remain deeply concerned about the manner in which the BBC treats EU issues. Our witnesses seemed to be more intent on defending and asserting their own opinions, mindset and interpretation of the obligations under the Charter and Framework Agreement than in whether they had in fact discharged them or whether they had the mindset to carry through their post-Wilson aims. In the interest of the licence fee payers, and the public in general, and in the context of the approaching General Election and a prospective referendum on the EU, and given the fact that the BBC themselves state that 58% of the public look to the BBC for news they trust, we believe that the BBC has a duty under its Charter, Framework Agreement and the general law, and following the Wilson report in particular, to improve substantially the manner in which it treats EU issues.
91. Furthermore, we conclude that in the light of the evidence we have taken over the past two years from the BBC, and given the statements made by the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Rona Fairhead, indicating that even she, as Chairman of the Trust, wishes to see reform of governance, that our criticisms of the way the BBC treats EU issues, and the approach by its leaders to the Committee, particularly the initial refusal to give oral evidence, shows that accountability to Parliament must be a key factor to be considered as part of the review of the BBC Charter in 2016, as should be strict adherence to the aims set out by the BBC in its response to the Wilson Review.
92. We have already published the transcripts of both hearings, and we also publish a submission from the organisation Newswatch commenting on the session with the Chairman of the BBC Trust, the BBC's response to that submission (which in our view is dismissive), and the BBC's follow-up submission following the oral evidence session with Lord Hall.
93. We deeply regret the fact that Lord Hall's repeated refusals to give oral evidence delayed the session to such an extent that it has not been possible to conduct further work on these issues before the dissolution of Parliament. Our central tenet, regarding the BBC's coverage of the EU scrutiny process in the House, and EU issues more generally, is that the country's public service broadcaster must command wide confidence in its coverage of such a sensitive and complex issue. We do not believe that this has been achieved.
94. Given the possibility of a referendum on the UK's EU membership before the end of the decade, and potentially a renegotiation of the Treaties, the issue of how the media in general, and the BBC in particular, covers the EU is of paramount importance. We asked Lord Hall if, as Director-General, he would undertake to appear before our successor Committee, and he responded that "if the subject matter was one that involved the BBC in some sort of way, I or others would appear." We welcome this commitment.'
That the Committee concluded:
'..we still remain deeply concerned about the manner in which the BBC treats EU issues. Our witnesses seemed to be more intent on defending and asserting their own opinions, mindset and interpretation of the obligations under the Charter and Framework Agreement than in whether they had in fact discharged them or whether they had the mindset to carry through their post-Wilson aims. In the interest of the licence fee payers, and the public in general, and in the context of the approaching General Election and a prospective referendum on the EU, and given the fact that the BBC themselves state that 58% of the public look to the BBC for news they trust, we believe that the BBC has a duty under its Charter, Framework Agreement and the general law, and following the Wilson report in particular, to improve substantially the manner in which it treats EU issues.'should be reported by the BBC but the BBC is not interested in facts or impartiality, it has its own agenda to further.