Saturday, 13 July 2013

Who's leading who?

A thoughtful piece about BBC impartiality by Charles Moore in the Telegraph gives some support to the view that it is the readers of newspapers who drag content along certain paths, and not vice-versa.

The article politely ponders the ideological outlook of the beeb (or, rather, how the writer perceives the majority of those who work there) without sullying itself with particular issues or bĂȘte noires.

Venture ye below the line, however, and the top rated comment reads:

"The BBC was more interested in telling us about the backlash against muslims after the murder of Lee Rigby than it was in the original crime..It's a disgrace & doesn't represent the views of most English people unless your name is Khan.."

For what it's worth, I think the accusation is unfounded. I listen to radio's 4 and 5 at each end of each day, and didn't hear what the commentator did. The anti-Muslim attacks were disingenuously puffed up, and those statistics were not duly challenged by the reporting. That tallies with the tone of Charles Moore's original piece. It's the suggestion that reporting of the Rigby murder itself was compromised which, to me, is the nonsense.

But we have a topic that's nothing to do with them Muslims, and we have an uninflamatory piece that's nothing to do with them Muslims. Yet when Average Joe Telegraphreader contributes his two-penneth, he want's to take a pop at them Muslims.

Look below the line on any newspaper website and ask yourself whether what you're reading is more or less 'extreme' than the piece above it. I found myself frustrated by the comments on this Guardian piece about the recent Swiss tax deal. The article obfuscated the facts (that not tax was collected because tax was due), but the comments were a shower of bile aimed at all the usual suspects. Guardian readers don't want informed and balanced reporting on the tax affairs of rich people.. they want to be told that those people are the antichrists. The Guardian tends to oblige.

No comments:

Post a Comment