Saturday, January 22, 2005

The path to salvation

We first heard in November that the BBC set up an "independent" panel to investigate allegations of pro-EU bias in its coverage, which we reported in a piece entitled "Foxes to investigate chicken coop". Some discerning readers might detect a trace of our own bias in that title.

From the Daily Telegraph today, we now learn that the panel has duly reported and, while it has come up with some criticisms, it has not accused the BBC of either pro- or anti-EU bias. Our case rests.

The panel instead stays on safe ground, accusing the BBC of "peddling stereotypes" about the EU and often telling stories only "through the prism of British politics".

Strangely, those are very similar to the criticisms which appear in a report commissioned by the EU itself, so one assumes that the Europhiles will not be too unhappy with the tenor of the BBC’s report when it finally appears.

As for our view of the report, we are and will remain entirely indifferent to it. The idea that anything produced or sponsored by the BBC was ever going to find any serious defects in the BBC’s coverage is entirely facile.

The way forward is not to rely on these self-serving panels but to create an alternative media that can rehearse the issues that the establishment media prefers to ignore. That is what is happening successfully in the USA, where the Blogosphere is successfully taking on the networks.

Unless anyone has any better ideas, that, we feel, is also where our salvation lies.

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