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BBC Strike Bias caught out

Frank worth | 29.03.2006 18:44 | Workers' Movements

BBC have you say exposed as a sham

The BBC have your say board has been the subject of testing for bias by 3 volunteers.
40 messages were sent to the BBC have your say board using 3 volunteers logging in to various proxy sites.
20 anti strike comments "why should they retire at 60 " etc
and 20 pro strike "I have paid 6%" etc were sent over 48 hours.
The Results

All 20 anti strike comments were published
1 Pro strike comment was published.
The facts and findings will now be forwarded to the BBC in an official complaint of government driven Bias, Not something we have come to expect from the BBC ????

Thanks to Mick and tracey !!

Frank worth


Hide the following 7 comments

Good work

29.03.2006 20:26

Please, please forward this to

It's one of the best media bias research sites and I'm sure they'd love to hear about this :)


oh dear...

29.03.2006 20:30

If you can substantiate that then they're in for a lot of criticism.

The only argument they could use would be to say that what they published was representitive of the overall for / against balance of messages revieved - or that they used the anti messages you sent to balance all the pro mesages they recieved as they did not want to show any bias (ahem) - or that they had been the subject of a spam attack and had simply rumbled one lot of messages and therefore not printed them.

So, more info please.

I'm assuming you were refering to this have your say:

"Do you support local government strikes?
How did the strike affect you and your area?
Town hall employees and other workers have taken part in a 24 hour stoppage, in a row over pensions.
Union officials say the UK-wide strike was joined by more than 1m workers, closing many council-run facilities.
Ministers hope talks on Wednesday will break the deadlock in the row over the scrapping of a rule allowing some people to retire on full pension at 60.
Did you take part in the strikes? Were they justified? How did the strikes affected your area?
Published: Monday, 27 March, 2006, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK

This was a moderated 'have your say' - since the BBC now have two types. 'Moderated' =
"This is also known as pre-moderation. Every comment submitted to a fully moderated discussion has to be checked by a BBC moderator before it is published on the site. We try to publish as many comments as we can but unfortunately, due to the volume of comments we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that all comments submitted will be published."

As of today, Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, at 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK the "have your say" section on the strikes runs to 207 pages and 3104 comments! That's a lot of comments!

Obviously what your saying would be much worse if there were like only 100 comments. I guess it would be good to know what % out of the 3000+ comments are for/against the strikes, but i'm not gonna sit down and calculate them (maybe you will?) - as this is quite crucial in what's being alleged.

Of course what we'd really like to know is how many submissions were rejected... and on what grounds.



30.03.2006 07:45

Anyone know if the BBC is obliged by the Freedom of Information Act to make public the system it uses to determine what to put on the message boards?

Perhaps they would like to avail themselves of Indymedia's Open Source publising system to give their boards Promoted and Open sections.


Rate of pro and anti

30.03.2006 14:08

Suppose for each comment you had to tick the box for/against/neither when you submitted it, and the BBC obliged themselves to report the quantities at the top of the comments page. It would become obvious if their comments selection were biased.

Julian Todd

Was the BBC really biased against the war?

03.04.2006 13:57

Journalists who help stir up genocide have been arrested and killed for their crimes. Julius Streicher and William Joyce were both hanged for their roles in the second world war. Valerie Bemeriki is currently facing the death penalty in Rwanda for her role in that genocide, and another broadcaster, Georges Ruggiu, is already serving 12 years for the same crime.,,1744316,00.html
BBC faces protests over 'Iraq bias'

Media accused of Iraq bias

ABC's Pro-Iraq Bias Exposed

Eliminating Truth: The Development Of War Propaganda

Media bosses admit pro-war bias in coverage of Iraq

Rwanda arrests 'hate radio' journalist

Was the BBC really biased against the war?

A research team at Cardiff University has provided the first systematic analysis of the television coverage of the war in Iraq. Their findings put a serious dent in recent claims that the BBC coverage was biased against the war - suggesting that the BBC actually tilted the other way in its coverage. The research team at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies conducted a comprehensive analysis of the way the four main UK broadcasters - the BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Sky - covered the war. After careful analysis of all the main evening news bulletins over a three and half week period, the BBC emerges as generally more respectful and sympathetic towards the government than other broadcasters. It was Channel 4 News - the venue Alistair Campbell chose to attack the BBC - that was consistently the most questioning of government information.
So, for example, the BBC was most likely to use the British government as a source of information during the war, using government sources twice as often as ITN and Channels 4 News. The BBC was also a little more likely to use British military sources in its coverage than the other three channels. Overall, 11 per cent sources on the BBC came from the UK government or military, compared with seven per cent on Channel 4 and Sky, and five per cent on ITN. Conversely, Sky and Channel 4 were both much more likely than the BBC to quote official Iraqi sources. The BBC were also less likely than the other three channels to use independent sources like the Red Cross - many of whom were critical of the war effort (Channel 4 used such sources three times more often than the BBC, Sky twice as often). When it came to the Iraqi view, the broadcasters were, as a whole three times more likely to portray them as wanting liberation rather than as resentful of the invasion. This ratio here was remarkably consistent across all TV channels - with the exception of Channel 4, where the ratio was still in the government’s favour, but by less than two to one. When it came to reporting the Iraqi casualties - clearly a negative for the government’s case - the research found fewer reports on the BBC that the other three channels. Again, it was Channel 4 who were most likely to offer a critical note - 44 per cent of their reports about the Iraqi people were about civilian casualties, compared with 30 per cent on Sky, 24 per cent on ITN, and only 22 per cent on the BBC. Professor Justin Lewis said: "The picture that emerges from our data is fairly clear: if there was a TV channel that more likely to report information damaging to government’s case, it was Channel 4. The BBC, by contrast, was often the channel least likely to question the government’s line." The team found, for example, that when Tony Blair accused the Iraqi regime of executing British soldiers - a story Downing Street were later forced to retract - the BBC was the only one of the early evening news bulletin’s that failed to examine the lack of evidence to support it, or to report the rather embarrassing government retraction the next day. And when it came to the many other stories from military sources that turned out to be false - such as the Basra "uprising", or the shooting of Scud missiles into Kuwait - Channel 4 was the only channel - rightly as it turned out - to offer a note of scepticism or caution. The BBC, ITN and Sky were, on the whole, much more trusting of US and British military sources. Professor Lewis said: "Far from revealing an anti-war BBC, our findings tend to give credence to those who criticised the BBC for being too sympathetic to the government’s pro-war stance. Either way, it’s clear to accuse the BBC of an anti-war bias fails to stand up to any serious or sustained analysis."
The research team was Professor Justin Lewis, Dr Rod Brookes and Kirsten Brander.
'Our journalists bear as much responsibility for the misinformation about Iraq as the intelligence agencies.'

"Generally speaking, outright bans are unnecessary, because "going too far," ... is discouraged by background and training. That the BBC, like most of the Anglo-American media, reports the fate of whole societies according to their usefulness to "us," the euphemism for western power, and works diligently to minimise the culpability of British governments in great crimes, is self-evident and certainly unconspiratorial. It is simply part of a rich tradition." -John Pilger


good work

11.04.2006 18:05

i made a complaint that they had put 'over 100,000' march against contract law in france, despite the police saying it was 500,000 and organisers 1m. they said they would not change it because it was not factually incorrect - ie, there had literally been over 100,000 marching.

furthermore, the comment pieces by catherine wyatt have been so slanted, portraying all french as backward 'misfits', its unreal.

the more letters of complaints they get the better.


Suspected this for a while

22.05.2006 18:18

I've suspected that the BBC were being selective in their responses for quite some time. When the have your say first came out everything was moderated then they changed the site and introduced the two types of moderation, moderated and reactively moderated. It now seems that reactively moderated is reserved for only the most inane topics and even then only used during office hours.In the early days I managed to get quite a few topics onto the site and it amused me to see if they were recommended or not but the number of topics getting through the BBC censorship dept gradually dwindled.

The last straw came when I actually managed to get a posting on a recent topic and it was quite popular, rising to the top of the recommended list. Despite presumably having got past a moderator in the first instance before appearing on the site the post was deleted a few hours later.

BBC Have your Say is now BBC have their say. A pathetic attempt to "represent" what the people think which more and more people are realising is heavily biased and not worth the pixels on your screen. Well done for exposing them.