Saturday, May 26, 2007

BBC Business Coverage

Balanced and fair
Apologies for two consecutive BBC posts, but the abysmal standard of what passes for its business coverage has long been a trigger for much BOM gnashing. Compared to Fox, or even CNN, it's astoundingly flimsy and ill-informed.

Now we have the report of their own enquiry headed by Alan Budd. It concludes:

"We believe that the BBC is at times unconsciously partial and unbalanced in its coverage of business issues. This unconscious partiality may stem in part from a lack of awareness of the business world. Many BBC journalists have never worked in business and do not seem to have a full grasp of how it operates. In its evidence the BBC says many, perhaps most, news editors and producers would regard business as a weaker area than politics, international affairs, health or the environment."

"Unconsciously"? Hmm... and have any BBC journalists ever worked in business? Still, let's park that. The report goes on:

"...a lack of specialist knowledge and perhaps a lack of interest on the part of some mainstream programme editors can result in missed stories or angles.

Some witnesses were concerned about the poor level of knowledge among some of the researchers who contact them. There was also concern about the range and quality of the experts used on many business stories."

Yup. "Experts" such as lightweight Robert Peston, son of hopeless Labour peer Maurice Peston, who's actually their Business Editor for gawd's sake (see previous blogs eg here and here).

And the report agrees with the charge that much of the Corporation's "business" coverage is actually one long "narrative" (ughh) about evil capitalists ripping off the faces of the poor:

"Many of the BBC’s business stories are framed through the perspective of the consumer... such an approach can create a prism through which much business coverage is seen as a battle between "unscrupulous" company bosses and their "exploited" customers."

You said it Buddy Boy.

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