Sunday, 11 December 2016

Is the BBC biased? CIW NEWS launches the world’s first daily media bias index

Is the BBC biased? CIW NEWS have launched the world's first daily media bias index, here

This should be interesting, up until now and myself have posted plenty of examples of the bias shown by the BBC. Meanwhile Craig formerly of beebbiascraig and now the main force (sorry Sue) behind has posted similarly, alongside some very detailed analysis of the BBC's bias. That analysis is what proves the BBC's bias but it's hard to measure. Now CIW are going to attempt to measure this bias via an index comparing the number of times the BBC use the term far right versus the number of times it uses the term far left. It's an interesting idea, here's CIW's take on this:

'What is the idea behind the index?

The index records how the BBC describes the world in a way that places it on an ideological spectrum ranging from far-left to far-right. As an organisation that historically emphasized that "impartiality and objectivity were the essence of professionalism in broadcasting", it is reasonable to expect the BBC's output does not privilege one part of the ideological spectrum over another i.e. that its output is balanced. On any particular day, it is reasonable to expect that there may be more new BBC content referring to the "far-left" than the "far-right", or vice versa. If the BBC is balanced, it is also reasonable to expect its output does not contain markedly more references to one compared to the other when a longer period is considered, say weeks or months.However, if the BBC has a left-liberal bias as its critics claim, its output would contain markedly more references over time to "far-right" than "far-left". This is for two reasons. One, the further left the BBC is on the ideological spectrum, the less there is to its left for it to see as left-wing, and the more there is to its right for it to see as right-wing and "far-right". Two, the further left it is, the more likely it is to use the pejorative "far-right" for right-wing ideas and people it dislikes, and the less likely it is to use the pejorative "far-left" for objectively "far-left" ideas and people for which it has an ideological affinity.Recent examples of the BBC using "far-right" as a pejorative include its documentary describing North Korea's Communist regime in that way, its Chinese language content Angry White People: Coming face-to-face with the British far right, and its broadcast using the term for Nigel Farrage (for which one of its presenters was forced to apologize).'

I will monitor the CIW index from now on.

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