Wednesday, July 09, 2008

From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel

It's over a year since the BBC published a report called From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel (see blogs on 18 and 19 June 2007). The report was supposed to be about safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century. The main document includes certain assumptions, such as BBC institutional support for equal rights for women and gay people.

It is self-evident that any study of impartiality should itself be impartial. But the report was commissioned by, and significantly influenced by people working for the BBC, as is clear from the Foreword which states that the author "has been able to draw on the advice, wisdom and experience of a Steering Group, comprising three of the BBC’s most senior executives, two Governors, two Trustees, a former broadcasting regulator and four external consumers of the BBC’s output."

That fact alone calls its worth into question. Then consider, for example, the bias of BBC news report headlines when the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 was passed last year (blog 21 March 2007).

I've written to some of the people involved in producing the report to ask how they can justify its claims.

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