Monday, January 12, 2004

Give Due Where Due's Due

Somewhere, slowly, small but detectable changes are taking place in BBC radio news and current affairs.

On Satrurday, to the credit of producer Kevin Marsh, the Today programme devoted 16 minutes to a serious discussion of the proposed 'Tony Martin Law'.

John Humphrys raised the West Lothian Question on Today this morning, in relation to Scottish MPs voting on top-up fee legislation which will only apply south of the Border.

And this morning on Radio 5, Nikki 'I'm Not A Bleeding Heart Liberal' Campbell, during yet another Kilroy-Silk debate, pointed out that Tom Paulin was still guesting on the BBC despite his publicly stated view view that American-born Israeli settlers 'should be shot'.

The Telegraph and Mail have been bemoaning BBC bias for years to no avail. This may be wishful thinking, but I think bloggers like Natalie Solent and the rest of the Biased BBC crew are actually having an effect. Too many people are documenting things. The bias is also being picked up in the States.

Don't get carried away though. We're still at the stage where they see it as a problem of perception. 'We know we're not biased, and we must be careful not to let our bias show.' The underlying culture is as one-sided as ever.

Not then a tectonic shift. But a few small and welcome hairline fractures in the 'liberal' news monolith.

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