Notes from John Blauth 13/10/10

What is the BBC for, if it is not to present all the news, fairly and without bias? It is evident that commercial broadcasters may not have such a clear mission so you would think that BBC news gatherers would revel in their freedom to do exactly what is required.

It takes the Irish genius Dara O’Briain to point out that, actually, what the BBC tends to do is deliver its own version  of fairness and, in so doing, makes a mockery of its mission.

In one of his live shows, Mr O’B uses the example of a scientist explaining something momentous and the reporter, as they all do, then turning to someone who knows nothing about the subject to give their opinion.

It’s daft, lazy and possibly even cowardly reporting. It seems to be a given at the Beeb that there are always two sides to every question when, obviously, in matters of fact, there just aren’t. Opinions are not news, as one of the greatest journalists and editors ever, C P Scott, so simply stated: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”

So it is splendid to learn this week that from now on even jokes will be censored at the state broadcaster. Just as they were in the good old days in Moscow… and probably still are in equally unenlightened places.

This is John Blauth’s editorial, which features in every issue of Media Digest. John Blauth is the big boss of Immediate Network, which publishes Media Digest.




“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”

Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.

(Source: POLIS)


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