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This is the media watchdog

that let off the channel

that’s owned by the corporation

that’s in bed with the party

that threatened the media watchdog.

In a shock move[1], Ofcom has exonerated Sky’s Adam Boulton and Kay Burley of any partisan bias during the recent election. Referring specifically to Boulton’s meltdown at Alastair Campbell, Ofcom says:
We considered that although the tone and content of this exchange was unusual, it would not have been beyond the likely expectations of the audience for this channel.
This will be music to NewsCorp’s collective ears. Murdoch has long been champing at the bit for the UK to relax its rules and allow news channels to be as partisan and, therefore, uninformative as they are in the States (“divide and rule” still being the Murdochs’ favoured tactic). A ruling that Sky viewers will expect its presenters to act like this as a matter of course towards participants they disagree with, and whose politics they disapprove of, edges us ever closer towards that possibility.

With Ofcom cowed by what a Tory/Lib Dem administration might do to it, the already pretty toothless Press Complaints Commission now headed up by a Tory baroness and the BBC firmly in the firing line, it’s looking a bit grim for public broadcasting at the moment. “I’m probably the most pro-BBC Conservative leader there’s ever been,” Cameron told the Radio Times, presumably aware that this was akin to claiming to be the most pro-hen fox ever to have gained entry to the henhouse.

It’s apposite that today the Economist has run this article on what about the Beeb is worth preserving:
They take accuracy and fairness seriously. They have some rogue presenters who over-egg some of their stuff, but their sins are marginal compared to the outright lies I have watched commercial reporters peddle. I remember watching a TV reporter intoning to a camera that he was on the front lines in Afghanistan when he was actually in the gardens of the house where the press pack was staying, about 10 miles from the front lines, and he was not from the BBC. I have worked alongside reporters who would invent interviews that had never happened, or plagiarise quotes from articles written months earlier: they were not from the BBC.
With the BBC’s online news operation already reduced to basically one person, an iPhone and a pile of press releases, there’s a danger that this passing tribute to BBC journalism could turn out before too long to have been something of a eulogy.

[1] It is not a shock move.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
Would killing anyone help?
Jul. 7th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
That's kind of you, Mr Moat, but first we’d like to give the increasingly unpopular “persuasion by argument” technique a try.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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