DO YOU feel you have been bamboozled and lied to by the BBC in their reporting of Covid-19 and of the Government’s chosen lockdown response? How influential do you think their daily coverage has been in shaping the British public’s response?
A timely poll by the Recovery campaign on Twitter asked a straightforward question: ‘Has the BBC provided “impartial news and information” about the Covid-19 situation, as required by the BBC Charter?’
Within hours the votes had poured in – 20,336 of them, and 93.9 per cent answered No.
The comments made in reply set out exactly what people think of the ‘service’ we are mandatorily paying for through the licence fee.
‘The BBC loves to crank up the fear, they did a report in my local hospital a few weeks back & it sounded like a horror film! I work there and saw none of it.’
‘As far as I am aware they have at no point engaged with any persons or organisation which challenges the narrative of lockdown. They have wholeheartedly presented lockdown as the only solution and ignored any view that presents an opposing perspective.’
‘The media has done nothing but spread fear, panic and discord. The BBC is boring, negative and predictable.’
‘Absolutely not. They have just become a propaganda machine, spouting out the fear narrative 24/7. No journalism at all any more. They should be ashamed of their output. Sadly I don’t think they care. I’ve just turned them off.’
‘It’s the subtle uses of manipulation that anger me. A few months ago the “daily death” figure was 199 less than the previous day and the Ten o’clock newsreader said “and that is more than a hundred less than yesterday’s figure”. I thought “that is cheeky , very cheeky!”’
‘I think there is a case for legal action action against the BBC for disseminating misinformation in a propagandised way for the benefit of compliance to Gov arbitrary diktats – a form of psychological oppression.’
‘They even use mood music to make their reports more scary. Ofcom, isn’t it time you stepped in for the benefit of the nation?’
If you are likewise critical and outraged, one choice of course is to stop paying the licence fee. Another is to stop watching the news – essential in my view if you want to save your mental health. But neither of these routes deals with the problem of the BBC’s huge influence, of their continuing to mislead and misinform – of their huge bias by omission as well as of commission to the extent of turning themselves into the state’s Ministry of (Mis)Information.
However a third option has been offered by the BBC themselves. We are all invited to take part in a survey. Since they say they are ‘really interested in understanding your views on the BBC and some of the other services you use’, we should take advantage.
They assure us that answers will be completely confidential and will remain anonymous. I suggest you make sure that they don’t and that you copy your replies to the survey questions – which you can complete here, by post to Tim Davie, the director general, and Richard Sharp, the new chairman, at BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA, UK, if only to reply to the statement ‘the BBC is fair and balanced.’