In Great Britain too, there are regular discussions about the journalistic role and performance of the BBC, which was founded 99 years ago. The radio group made heavy negative headlines last May when an investigative report revealed how a former BBC employee fraudulently obtained an interview with Princess Diana. The BBC has wanted to cover up this scandal for years.
However, political debates around the BBC often revolve around the question of how impartial the fee-funded broadcaster is to information about events. Conservative advocates mainly express criticism. Boris Johnson’s government is now putting additional pressure on the BBC by making decisions about staff in the area of supervision to bring about changes in its interests. These days, for example, Culture Minister Nadine Dorries said the group of stations was too left-wing liberal and too focused on London.
The BBC leadership is now trying to exonerate. Last weekend, General Manager Tim Davey announced all offers from outside experts to check their neutrality. As the Guardian writes, it will show whether the BBC reflects a sufficient variety of viewpoints and points of view. The first study will analyze how journalists provide information about UK tax and public spending. With issues such as racism, immigration, cultural struggles, or gender, there will be plenty of material for further reviews. Representatives of social groups will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the results.
For Director General Davy, ensuring neutrality is central to the BBC’s future. The most sensitive point for him would be the selection of experts. Because this in turn can be met with criticism that he is not impartial enough. Disagreements over the public broadcasting system are always shaped by power interests. Conversely, the potential for these expert reports to be crushed between political fronts is high. It remains to be seen whether the BBC’s initiative will be replicated in other countries with publicly funded broadcasters.
Related interests of the author
Opinions expressed in articles on Infosperber correspond to the author’s subjective assessments.
“Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst.”