Over the years there have been a series of occurrences of False equivalence in BBC news programmes, where Ofcom has had to correct the BBC. The existence of Climate change being a notable one, where climate scientists were set against those with no knowledge of the subject.
BBC Complaint handling
The BBC’s failure to be fully transparent when handling audience complaints about bias is hurting its impartiality, Ofcom has said.
The media regulator found that the broadcaster was twice as likely as rivals to receive complaints about bias, but audience members were unsatisfied with how their concerns were dealt with.
An Ofcom survey of 2,407 people found that 39 per cent had problems with bias in BBC coverage, compared with 15 per cent for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.Times – 22 June 2022
Research by the Reuters Institute demonstrates that, while there is still significant support for the idea of news outlets being ‘neutral on every issue’ (53%), there are also significant proportions of audiences who feel there are some issues where it ‘makes no sense for news outlets to try to be neutral’ (28%) or who don’t know what their view is (18%).
Another recently published report on the relevance of impartiality found that the idea of impartiality is not straightforward for audiences, and that age, media literacy and political outlook are all important determinants of views on impartiality, with different groups holding diverging views on where impartiality is appropriate.Ofcom Annual Report on the BBC – June 2022