Sunday, 5 February 2012

We cannot rely on the BBC to allow us to hear the truth

Good article in the New Statesman this week about the BBC pandering to the Israeli government's illegal occupation on Palestine. The Israelis have done a great job of bullying the Western media in the past few years. The article showed that the BBC had censored the lyric "free Palestine" from a freestyle by rapper Mic Righteous on 1xtra in February last year. This is an outrageous censorship of free speech by an organisation which is supposed to be there to defend it, a position which was itself defended by the BBC Trust.

Over the years I've become increasingly disillusioned by the coverage of major issues by the BBC. Although it has been subjected to intimidation by the Coalition government, and is under threat from the likes of the Murdochs, who want to destroy public sector competition, the BBC would be supported by the public if it stood up for freedom of expression.

The final nail in the coffin for me has been the coverage of the economic crisis we have been in for the past four years. Coverage and analysis has been very poor with the exception of Paul Mason on BBC's Newsnight. I regularly listen to radio programmes like Today and have been appalled by the superficial analysis and the selection of 'business as usual' spokespeople, who have supported the government's austerity programme. Hardly an alternative voice has been heard and the I've never heard the word 'neoliberal' mentioned on flagship programmes like Today and PM, even though that is the economic and political paradigm we live and is responsible for the economic mess we are in.

BBC's Bush House

The BBC has always had a bias towards the government of the day, giving much more time to them than the opposition to get their case across. In some ways this is defensible, because the government ought to be given time to explain what it is doing, but the bias is far too great as it was when Andrew Lansley was given five evenings on PM to speak about his health 'reforms' - without an alternative case being put or ever being given a decent amount of airtime.

If you don't allow the truth to be broadcast, people stop listening. I get most of my news from the net now and I can recommend Twitter if you want to find out about breaking news from around the world. It is also good if you want to follow what is happening with Occupy - something which is virtually ignored by the UK media. I found the censorship article because of a Twitter post - otherwise I would have never have known about it. I hardly ever ever watch BBC tv news these days and I only listen to the Today programme in the car to find out what the latest London luvvie spin on the news is. We need a strong BBC to be public sector counterweight to the propaganda of the so called free press and media outlets like Fox News. We need a government which can reform the private sector media and allow the BBC to tell us the truth.

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