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    Friday, 22 April 2011

    Bias in the news

    Apologies for yet more politics; normal-ish service will be resumed shortly, I hope.

    I've just put the following into the "BBC News website feedback" form, but I doubt it will have any impact. Quoting it here for the record...

    The BBC news website appears to be showing a systemic bias over the AV referendum. For the last few weeks, there has been regular coverage of the referendum and it seems that there has been the usual blind adherence to "balance" - every story about AV has included some of the (incorrect, unscientific, even hate-filled) propaganda from the "no to AV" campaign without critique or analysis. It's difficult to see any justification for this except deliberate editorial bias, but I don't imagine that there's much that can be done about that.

    However, right now on the BBC News front page at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ I can see that there is a link "Referendum views" that points to yet another opinion piece from a "No" campaigner (Frederick Forsyth). I only see a single view here, not the plural "views" suggested. I don't see any positive view for AV promoted from the front page at all, nor any link from this puff piece to the other articles that have been written in the recent past. Looking further, I can see that there *has*, in fact, been a positive piece on the News Front Page today (from Billy Bragg) but there are no visible links to it any more. Both articles were posted/updated at the same time this morning (22nd April, 08:34 BST) yet now only the negative one remains. Very shoddy, and not at all what I would expect from the BBC.

    23:24 :: # :: /misc/politics :: 11 comments

    Comments

          Re: Re: Re: Re: Bias in the news
          Chris Cunningham wrote on Sun, 24 Apr 2011 00:19

          I very much doubt that this would actually occur. Second-choice votes are likely to be reciprocal to a fair degree. Nevertheless, if it turns out that neither the Lib Dems nor the Greens can make 50% of the vote then it is quite obvious that neither should be elected.

          Your example assumes that people will rank all the candidates rather than stopping at the ones they don't want (i.e. the Tories), which makes the system no worse than FPTP in that sense; it is still possible that a candidate for whom you express no preference at all is elected, so long as at least 50% of the electorate *do* give said candidate a ranking.


          Reply

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