I was listening to a BBC podcast – Newspod for 22 June which covered as its lead story Ed Milliband’s recent speech about immigration. Listen to how it was introduced by Andrew Peach – I’ve highlighted the key words. “It’s rare for politicians to admit they’ve got it wrong but today the Labour leader Ed Milliband, himself the son of immigrants, has done precisely that. He’s made a speech in which he acknowledges that millions of people have legitimate concerns and more needs to be done to address them.” The BBC is of course entitled to say that Labour’s immigration policy compared to that of the conservatives cost them votes but in this introduction using those words Peach is clearly stating that that policy was wrong and that anti-immigrant sentiment is legitimate and must be addressed. In my view this is a clear (if inadvertent) breach of the BBC’s duty of impartiality and provides a good example of how careful journalists must be in choosing their words (assuming no ill intent). Here’s the link if you wish to make a complaint to the BBC.
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24 June 2012