BBC 'strongly biased' in their coverage of Brexit - Independent Report
Posted: 2017-May-18 08.00.05 UTC+0800
MOSCOW — A report by News-Watch group, an organization that monitors public service broadcast programs to examine whether - as required by law - they deliver impartiality and political balance, has found that the BBC was "strongly biased against Brexit" in its coverage of the UK government triggering Article 50 in March 2017.
The research concluded that in the week the Prime Minister Theresa May activated the withdrawal process from the EU, BBC Radio 4's Today program, had 114 guests speaking against Brexit.
The study has shown that of the 124 commentators that the Today program featured between March 29 — the day Article 50 was invoked — and April, only eight of them were given air time to discuss the positive impact of Brexit.
News-Watch found that there was an "overwhelming negativity" expressed by the program and correspondents also displayed a bias against Brexit.
"The overall gloom was buttressed by the program's editorial approach. Presenters and correspondents pushed at every opportunity to illustrate existing and potential problems. They were strongly adversarial towards Brexit supporters, but much less so to guests who advocated that the UK was, in effect, now staring down the barrel of a loaded gun," the report stated.
The investigation added that during the week Article 50 was activated, 61 BBC contributors were Remainers, while only 42 were in favor of Brexit. And of those, only 25 were "firmly" in support of leaving the bloc.
This is not the first time that the BBC has been accused of being biased. Today host Nick Robinson has been accused of both pro and anti-Brexit bias. Robinson later joked that people should "leave it out" and "remain calm."
A report by News-Watch from last April also showed that in the six months following the referendum, over half of Today's guests expressed negative opinions about Brexit. The report accused the BBC of continuing "project fear," the UK broadcaster swayed more to portraying the withdrawal process as harmful as opposed to positive.However the BBC responded by saying that its coverage of Brexit was impartial and responsible.
"The BBC has and will continue to cover Brexit in a responsible and impartial way independent of political pressure," a BBC spokesperson said.
"The job of impartial journalism is to scrutinize the issues and interrogate the relevant voices, not advocate for a position. It's precisely for this reason that the public trusts the BBC," the spokesperson added. (PNA)