Saturday, December 06, 2003

Pilger: The Bbc And Iraq; Myth And Reality: "Greg Dyke, the BBC's director general, has attacked American television reporting of Iraq. 'For any news organisation to act as a cheerleader for government is to undermine your credibility,' he said. 'They should be... balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other.' He said research showed that, of 840 experts interviewed on American news programmes during the invasion of Iraq, only four opposed the war. 'If that were true in Britain, the BBC would have failed in its duty.'

"Did Dyke say all this with a straight face? Let's look at what research shows about the BBC's reporting of Iraq. Media Tenor, the non-partisan, Bonn-based media research organisation, has examined the Iraq war reporting of some of the world's leading broadcasters, including the US networks and the BBC. It concentrated on the coverage of opposition to the war.

"The second-worst case of denying access to anti-war voices was ABC in the United States, which allowed them a mere 7 per cent of its overall coverage. The worst case was the BBC, which gave just 2 per cent of its coverage to opposition views - views that represented those of the majority of the British people. A separate study by Cardiff University came to the same conclusion. The BBC, it said, had 'displayed the most pro-war agenda of any [British] broadcaster'."

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