Sunday, 4 November 2012

The news is right here, BBC

It is virtually impossible to find on the Web a justification for BBC's blanket coverage of the US presidential election. The cynic would suggest that BBC staff like being in the States, especially during the pre-Christmas (and -Hanukkah)  shopping season. Besides, there is lots of free TV footage, courtesy of the campaign teams.

Presumably, if put in the dock over this, the director general would say that it is necessary to inform the British public about who is going to run the free world for the next four years. That view would be defensible if BBC-News actually reported on how the election of either Obama or Romney would affect the rest of the world. If anything, Romney would be slightly better for the UK economy - though not necessarily for the generality of Americans - yet there is a barely disguised bias towards Obama in the media coverage here. (That is not an endorsement of Romney, by the way, and it is based on the premise that he would not start or abet an attack on Iran.) Instead, the BBC is more concerned with process, treating the poll as if it were just another sporting contest.

As I type, BBC-News is belatedly but slowly waking up to the implications of the paedophile ring centred on North Wales childrens homes in the 1970s or 1980s. When the edited and anonymised Waterhouse Report was published in 2000, Paul Murphy, the then Welsh Secretary said that there was no evidence of a high-level paedophile conspiracy. In view of recent allegations by Rod Richards (former Conservative MP and AM) and Labour MP Tom Watson, one wonders whether he would care to review that statement.

In any case, a whole generation has grown up since Bryn Estyn. The BBC has a duty to inform them of the historical background, as well as reminding those who were around at the time of the extent of the abuse. Now that the Children's Commissioner for Wales has added his voice to the demands for a fuller and more transparent inquiry, it is no time to allow the US horse-race to bury bad news.

No comments: