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The Global MSM is not free

Will someone explain that to the BBC? As part of their news coverage, the BBC website will often construct webpages that quote from various press outlets around the world with a description of commonalities that these quotes may share. For example, on Katrina, the commentary of a piece entitled “World press berates US over Katrina” notes that:

Newspapers around the world are critical of the US government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and its foreign and environmental policies more generally.

Links are made to regional concerns, with Asian papers recalling last December’s tsunami and African commentators highlighting the racial issue.

But some sympathy comes from Indonesia, and an Afghan newspaper takes pride in President Karzai’s offer of assistance.

However, of the thirteen newspapers quoted, the BBC does not endeavour to inform its audience that, at a conservative estimate, half function as government mouthpieces or operate under various restrictions. So, a Zimbabwean newspaper, the Daily Herald, that BBC Monitoring identifies as a government owned daily, from an unfree state, is quoted without qualification, providing free publicity for ZANU-PF.

The fact that New Orleans is a southern town predominantly populated by African-Americans explains why President George W. Bush did not see the need to cut short his holiday. All that Bush has done so far is to issue threats against the victims, and deploying trigger-happy American troops – fresh from abusing Iraqi prisoners – to go and “restore order

We should not be surprised at this. If you turn to the BBC Monitoring’s profile of the UK media, you would be surprised at the prominent role of public broadcasting versus commercial outfits, backed by a picture of Broadcasting House and a link to BBC history. The passage starts:

The UK has a strong tradition of public-service broadcasting and an international reputation for creative programme-making.

The fledgling BBC began daily radio broadcasts in 1922 and quickly came to play a pivotal role in national life. The Empire Service – the forerunner of the BBC World Service – established a reputation worldwide. The BBC is funded by a licence fee, which all households with a TV set must pay.

This bias runs throughout the entire piece. Our newspaper industry are relegated to a single sentence. Even the Hutton report acquires positive spin and two paragraphs! And look at the radio stations listed…

The variety of publications on sale reflects the full spectrum of political opinion, as well as the British public’s voracious appetite for newspapers.

The biased BBC does not have the capacity to objectively describe itself. It is unable to distinguish between free or unfree sources in its quotations. The global press is defined as a privileged and professional group because of the outlets they work for, not because of the objective and honest standards that journalists are supposed to maintain. Without this qualification, the writings of Comrade Bob’s mouthpiece, a Chinese journalist who writes only what his masters want to hear and a reporter protected by the First Amendment are presented as equally valid to the reader. The BBC news website provides the professional credentials and recognition that propaganda masquerading as journalism craves.

5 comments to The Global MSM is not free

  • Pete_London

    The BBC is funded by a licence fee, which all households with a TV set must pay.

    Oops, I do keep forgetting.


  • GCooper

    Late summer storms notwithstanding, that ominous rumbling sound in the background is being generated by two armies of the British Left squaring-up for a fight. On the one hand, the massed ranks of Za-NuLabour, on the other the (even Lefter) collectivists of the BBC.

    The latest preliminary skirmish was the childish attempt to sink John Humphrys this week by, it seems, agents of the Beast Campbell. But the real ding-dong is yet to come, when Bliar (or Brown, or whichever superannuated student radical gets the job) has to rule on whether the BBC keeps its egregious licence fee.

    Grade, no doubt put in place because of his impeccable suck-up credentials on the lovie-Left will, of course, do his best to assure Labour that there will be no more Gilligans, but will de gummint believe them? After all, doesn’t it get just as good head rubs and warm slippers from Murdoch’s Travesty Times, or Channel 4?

    Whether the BBC can survive this next battle is open to doubt. Personally, I believe it is beyond redemption as a news channel, so I hope not. Then again, I’m under no illusions that C4, ITN or Sky are any better. All the MSM are afflicted by “journalists” indoctrinated by Marxist academics. The only saving grace to sending the BBC to the scaffold is that at least one will no longer have to subsidise the juvenile polemics of Wells, Frei, Guerin, Esler, Ducette et al on pain of imprisonment.

    But the MSM will still stink, whatever we do with it, until we sort out higher education.

  • JuliaM

    Paul Reynold’s article on the Beeb website this morning contains two additions noted ‘Update: A reader pointed out…’ – vital things like what the evacuation plan actually SAYS. Presumably, they’ve been added in later following reader emails.

    Isn’t it a journalist’s JOB to know these things (via research) before he commits to his article….?

  • Johathan Pearce

    I am surprised the BBC did not quote that haven of penetrating objectivity, the North Korean news service.

  • veryretired

    No, no, you don’t understand at all. Everybody knows the whole world hates the US. Everybody knows the US is a terrible place to live. Everybody knows the working people of the US are penniless slaves of the capitalists, and that its even worse for people of color.

    Why, if it weren’t just that way, if that wasn’t the truth, then the world community as represented by the UN, for instance, wouldn’t have the vast moral authority it enjoys to critique the failings of the US and its few friends, especially that nasty little Israel (which everybody knows was behind all this trouble in the first place).

    sarcasm off.

    You are asking people for whom socialism is still a valid and valuable social process to realistically deal with major issues of moral and political significance. Surely you realize how foolish it is to expect someone who can blank out the atrocities of an entire century to somehow regain an even keel when dealing with an opportunity as juicy as a major hurricane.

    Have you forgotten all the hyper-critical “stinginess” rhetoric back during the Sumatran tsunami aftermath?

    This is just more grist for the mill.