Wednesday, 22 July 2009

BBC response to complaint about anti-UKIP bias

The BBC responded to my complaint about their exclusion of Glenn Tingle from their election programming in Norwich North in record time with a pre-prepared response that has been sent to lots of other people who complained.
Thanks for your e-mail regarding our coverage of UKIP.

Especially when there are a large number of candidates - 12 in Norwich North - the broader interests of the voters would not be served by giving equal coverage to each and every candidate, irrespective of their chances of success. So when editors are deciding how much coverage to give, relatively, to different parties and candidates in any election, one of the key factors they look for is "evidence of past and/or current electoral support" in that electoral area.

On that basis, in Norwich there is clear evidence of support for the three main parties as well as for the Green Party and therefore those parties will be getting similar levels of coverage. Similarly, there is evidence from the recent elections that both UKIP and the BNP have some support in at least parts of the constituency and they will also, proportionately, be given an appropriate level of coverage by programmes covering the by-election.

For example, 'Look East' looked at Glenn Tingle's candidacy on 15 July and Radio Norfolk did a piece on him the following day. UKIP leader Nigel Farage's visit to the constituency also featured on 'Look East' and 'Look East Special' on 20 July.

We'd like to assure you that we've registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.


BBC Complaints
This just isn't good enough. If they look at "evidence of past and/or present support" then they will see that Liebour and the Lib Dims both came behind UKIP in the elections in June. They will see that Liebour no longer controls a county council in England. They will see that Glenn Tingle is currently out in front according to one of his rivals.

Back to the BBC Complaints website ...
I have received a response to a complaint under reference T20090721xxxxxxxx and am not satisfied with the response.

In your response you claim that because there are so many candidates in the Norwich North by-election you allocate coverage to candidates based on "evidence of past and/or present support".

In the election last month UKIP came second, ahead of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens. Labour no longer controls a single county council in England and the Lib Dems control only one. Labour lost three quarters of their councillors in England and now have less that the Lib Dems. The Greens continue to be an irrelevance in local, national and EU elections.

Glenn Tingle's opponent in Norwich North, Craig Murray, says on his website that more people are telling him that they will be voting UKIP than any other party which confirms that Glenn Tingle is the leading candidate.

So the BBC has clearly not based its election coverage on "evidence of past and/or present support". I am very unhappy at the unfair promotion of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party at the expense of UKIP and at being lied to in the response to my original complaint.
If you received the same inadequate response, please make sure you make a new complaint about it.


sdh1982 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sdh1982 said...

Might just be me and how i read it but the BBC's response to your complaint appeared to me to catagorise UKIP with a certain far right wing group. . .

"Similarly, there is evidence from the recent elections that both UKIP and the BNP have some support in at least parts of the constituency"

obzerver said...

Giving the Green Party the same level of coverage as the Conservatives and Labour on the basis of support is absurd.

It is more a reflection of attitudes within the BBC.

Craig said...

When UKIP does manage to get interviewed on one of the major current affairs programmes (and since coming second in the Euro elections it's only happened twice!)it's treated with far less respect than the Greens - according to my Interruption Coefficients (the number of interruptions/the length of the interview):


Daily Politics, 14.07.09, Anita Anand, Glen Tingle I.C. of 2.8

Today, 8.6.09, Sarah Montague, Nigel Farage, I.C. of 1.6

Newsnight, 3.6.09, Emily Maitlis, Nigel Farage, I.C of 1.5.

World This Weekend, 12.07.09, Shaun Ley, Nigel Farage, I.C. of 0.5

(This last interview contained fewer interruptions but was one of the most biased of all!!


Today, 3.6.09, James Naughtie, Caroline Lucas, I.C. of 0.7

Westminster Hour, 5.07.09, Carolyn Quinn, Caroline Lucas, I.C. of 0.5

Newsnight, 7.07.09, Emily Maitlis, Jenny Jones, I.C. of 0.0

Daily Politics, 14.07.09, Anita Anand, Rupert Read, I.C. of 0.0

Today, 6.07.09, Evan Davis, Jenny Jones, I.C. of 0.0

Will we ever hear a UKIP spokesman being interviewed without being constantly interrupted? Will we ever hear a Green spokesperson being interviewed in a challenging way?

Please continue the good work & keep complaining to the Biased BBC.

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