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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: Bias in the news
      Steve wrote on Sun, 24 Apr 2011 21:49

      First of all, thanks for actually arguing on the *merits* of the different voting systems - that's quite a refreshing change!

      The article at

      http://gowers.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/is-av-better-than-fptp/

      includes a very good mathematical treatment of the voting systems, and was passed on by friends of mine.

      Yes, AV/IRV *can* possibly produce the results you're describing, but only in quite unlikely circumstances. Compared to FPTP (which *very* often produces an undesirable result) I'm prepared to live with that.

      Condorcet voting options would be a much better answer mathematically, but I don't believe they're likely to be explicable for normal voters.


      Reply

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