Friday, April 24, 2009

The BBC versus the EU

The following story was recounted by an anonymous, but prominent, British political scientist about a meeting he had had with an unnamed senior BBC news executive. He had been asked to visit the BBC, along with some other academic experts on the EU, to discuss the BBC’s coverage of the EU. The Beeb thought they were doing rather well, to which the experts laughed in their faces and pointed out that whilst the BBC news covers congressional hearings in Washington for relatively lowly positions in the Obama administration, they hadn’t covered the hearings for the European Commissioners. The response to which was: “they have hearings for the commissioners?” Lets remember all; the commissioners produce laws that effect every one us Europeans on a daily basis.

At this point the academics showed the BBC chaps the data that shows that the BBC has less coverage of the EU on its evening news programmes than any other broadcaster across the 27 European Union members. Without missing a beat, and with a straight face, the unnamed senior BBC executive replied: “Yes, but that is because we are a very important country and therefore have lots more news to report.”

And yes, Mark Mardell and his Euroblog is an honourable exception to the rule of crappy BBC coverage.

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