Above: Laura Kuenssberg’s review of the Labour manifesto published by the (impartial) BBC.
Below: Conservative poster from the last election campaign.
Screenshots courtesy of The Canary, which adds:
Sadly, the evidence suggests that Kuenssberg is a symptom of conservative bias at the BBC, rather than cause.
Beyond Harding [Director of BBC news] and Kuenssberg, multiple studies have supported the assertion that this bias exists. A 2013 content analysis of the BBC by Cardiff University found that:
- The BBC consistently grants more airtime to the Conservatives, whichever party is in power. †
- On BBC News at Six, business representatives outnumbered trade union spokespeople by more than 5:1 in 2007 and by 19:1 in 2012.
- BBC coverage of the 2008 financial crisis was dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices. Civil society voices or commentators critical of the finance sector were almost completely absent from coverage.
This tweet sums it up nicely:
† Clarification: Although The Canary states that amongst the findings of the Cardiff University report, “The BBC consistently grants more airtime to the Conservatives, whichever party is in power”; this is not strictly accurate. If you follow the link you will find the following:
Among political sources, Labour and Conservatives dominate coverage accounting for 86% of source appearances in 2007 and 79.7% in 2012. Our data also show that Conservatives get more airtime than Labour. Bearing in mind that incumbents always receive more coverage than opposition politicians, the ratio was much more pronounced when the Conservatives were in power in 2012.