Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Complaint to BBC

Below is a copy of a complaint just sent to the BBC

On the BBC Six O'Clock News broadcast on 17th January 2012 Nick Robinson, Political Editor, was covering a news story about Ed Miliband's response to UNITE criticism about his policies on the Coalition Government's spending cuts . In the item Mr Robinson stated that "Labour Controlled" Doncaster Council, Ed Milband's own Council in his constituency, was cutting staff salaries by 4%. I believe Mr Robinson intended viewers to believe that this was a local Labour Party decision when actually Doncaster Council has an elected Mayor who is from the English Democrats Party. Mr Robinson either has no idea of the decision-making of local authorities who have an elected Mayor or he intentionally sought to mislead viewers in order to show a Labour Council supporting salary cuts to public sector staff. Therefore, either Mr Robinson is extremely ill-informed, which I doubt, or he made the statement in order to intentionally mislead viewers. I would want the BBC to correct the statement on a future news programme and an apology for what was at best poor, and at worst, biased journalism.

5 comments:

  1. we are way past the ten days for the BBC to respond so I have sent a complaint about the non response to my complaint.....

    Complaint Summary: I have not received a response

    Full Complaint: I have not received a response to my earlier complaint Case number CAS-1251183-3Q6L0Z

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  2. and so it continues....

    YOUR COMPLAINT:

    Complaint Summary: No response to my complaint about a non response

    Full Complaint: On 17th January 2012 I submitted the following complaint: ref: CAS-1251183-3Q6L0Z Complaint Summary: Nick Robinson misleading viewers Full Complaint: On the BBC Six O'Clock News broadcast on 17th January 2012 Nick Robinson, Political Editor, was covering a news story about Ed Miliband's response to UNITE criticism about his policies on the Coalition Government's spending cuts . In the item Mr Robinson stated that "Labour Controlled" Doncaster Council, Ed Milband's own Council in his constituency, was cutting staff salaries by 4%. I believe Mr Robinson intended viewers to believe that this was a local Labour Party decision when actually Doncaster Council has an elected Mayor who is from the English Democrats Party. Mr Robinson either has no idea of the decision-making of local authorities who have an elected Mayor or he intentionally sought to mislead viewers in order to show a Labour Council supporting salarty cuts to public sector staff. Therefore, either Mr Robinson is extremely ill-informed, which I doubt, or he made the statement in order to intentionally mislead viewers. I would want the BBC to correct the statement on a future news programme and an apology for what was at best poor, and at worst, biased journalism. on 4th February I submitted a complaint that the above complaint had not been responded to ref: CAS-1284643-6CNTYL I still have not received a response to either - can you please respond to my original complaint or do I have to take it to the Trust?

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  3. At last I have a response to my first complaint - your comments will be gratefully received:

    Dear Mr Freeman

    Reference CAS-1251183-3Q6L0Z

    Thank you for your correspondence which has been forwarded to me.
    I do of course entirely understand your point. The elected mayor of Doncaster clearly does have dominant powers within the decision-making process in the town. I know that Nick Robinson is well aware of this.

    We accept that we could have been clearer. However, I can assure you that there was no intention to mislead viewers. I have discussed the matter with Nick - he's grateful for the reminder and will be mindful of it in future.

    Yours sincerely
    Gavin Allen
    Editor, BBC Political News

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  4. "no intention to mislead viewers" based on whose word? The BBC have 'no political bias' which is the biggest joke ever. Iraq war made that clear when they gave less time to anti war views than even Fox News. The BBC are quick on opinion, low on fact. Well done for pushing this, I get the feeling they want the public to stay mute and accept what they, the 'experts' say.

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  5. I'm not satisfied with the response to this complaint, therefore I've submitted the following;

    In explanantion to my previous complaint Gavin Allen, Editor BBC Political News states that Nick Robinson "is well aware" that the Mayor of Doncaster "clearly does have dominant powers within the decision-making process in the town.". If this is the case then Nick Robinson's use of the term "Labour-controlled Council" in the item was clearly misleading as the use of this term was quite simply wrong. If Nick Robinson was aware of the decision-making process in Doncaster and the elected Mayor's role in that then the only reason for using the term "Labour-controlled Council" was in order to lead viewers to believe that the decision-making power in the town rested solely & exclusively with the Labour Party. The intent therefore was clearly to lead the viewers to believe that the Labour Party in Doncaster was in some way seeking to embarrass or contradict the Labour Party nationally as the item was being broadcast from the town which includes the contituency of the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband. Therefore it is not sufficient to say that the BBC "could have been clearer" because the issue at dispute was known to both the Editor and Mr Robinson as has been admitted in the previous response. If the facts were known then the choice of the term "Labour-controlled" to describe the authority was intended to paint a picture in the viewers mind that the Labour Party was pursuing a policy in Doncaster which it patently wasn't, I believe this also breaches the BBC's Editorial Guidelines.

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