Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Myth Of Left-Leaning Media Bias

Fascinating piece on MediaLens regarding the supposed left-wing bias of the mainstream media.

Mainstream media discussions of media balance are limited to a single question: Is the media too critical of powerful interests?

Earlier this month, the press described how an internal BBC report had revealed that the organisation was guilty of “institutional left-wing bias" and “being anti-American”. (‘Lambasting for the “trendy Left-wing bias” of BBC bosses,’ Daily Mail, June 18, 2007)

Senior BBC managers and journalists were happy to agree. Former political editor Andrew Marr responded by noting that the BBC is "a publicly-funded urban organisation with an abnormally large proportion of younger people, of people in ethnic minorities and almost certainly of gay people, compared with the population at large". All this, he said, "creates an innate liberal bias inside the BBC". (Nicole Martin, ‘BBC viewers angered by its 'innate liberal bias,' Daily Telegraph, June 19, 2007)

Of course words like ‘liberal’ and ‘left-wing’ can mean pretty much what you want them to mean. But the fact is that the BBC consistently presents the perspective of government and business as commonsensical, and rarely feels the need to offer any kind of balance.

Read the full alert here.