'A comparison of the 'Today' programme's coverage of the Labour Party and Conservative Party conferences reveals a significant degree of pro-Labour bias. Though only a few items, such as the Danny Shaw report, screamed 'bias!', the cumulative effect of the different moods established by the two respective presenters, the severe skewing of the commentariat towards the Labour Party, the unhelpfulness of the reports towards one party in particular, the presence of other unhelpful items towards that party (in contrast to a helpful one towards the other party), the framing of interviews, and the programme's initial agenda-setting (always followed through), all adds up to coverage that is much more favourable to one party than to another. I have tried to be as fair as fair can be towards the programme here but there is always the possibility that my own biases are blinding me to flaws in my own study. So, though I think I'm correct in all my judgements, please check the links (to whatever is still accessible on the 'Today' website) and see if you think I really am!
Of course, the question 'Does any of this really matter?' arises, especially when the Conservative Party itself shows little or no concern about biased BBC reporting. The related question 'Who cares?' may also cross your mind. (It crossed mine several times while writing this!) Still, the BBC has an obligation to impartiality and boasts that it is impartial. It it fails on that score, it must be called out. '
Saturday, 8 October 2011
The BBC's coverage of the Labour and Conservative party conferences has been analysed
I knew Beeb Bias Craig would not let us down and he hasn't. On Biased BBC Craig has some very detailed analysis of the way the BBC Radio 4 Today programme covered the Labour and Conservative party conferences. It's a long but very rewarding read, here's the conclusion but do go and read the whole piece: