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BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION (BBC) Printer Friendly Page

BBC: Profile
By Lowell Ponte
2005

BBC Appoints Muslim to Oversee Religious Content
By Marty Cooper
May 13, 2009

BBC Mideast Editor Guilty of Inaccuracy on Israel
By HonestReporting.com
April 17, 2009

The BBC During the Gaza War: Biased Coverage of the Conflict
By HonestReporting.com
March 23, 2009

BBC Digs Another Hole
By HonestReporting.com
March 9, 2009

The BBC's Obsession with Israel
By HonestReporting.com
January 22, 2009

Media 'War Crimes'
By HonestReporting.com
January 15, 2009

Coming Soon? Hamas' Media Massacre
By HonestReporting.com
January 5, 2009

In Gaza Conflict, Context Is Key
By Andrea Levin
January 2, 2009

Israel at War - Day 6
By HonestReporting.com
January 1, 2009

BBC's Christmas Odyssey
By HonestReporting.com
December 24, 2008

BBC’s Web Site Conveys an Anti-Israel Message
By Ricki Hollander
November 26, 2008

A Stabbing in Gilo
By HonestReporting.com
October 23, 2008

BBC Corrects Misrepresentation of Iran Nuclear Program
By Gilead Ini and Maxime Myer-Smith
August 28, 2008

BBC Charity Funded Jihadists
By Ben Quinn
August 20, 2008

Copycat Attack - Copycat Headlines
By HonestReporting.com
July 23, 2008

Humanizing the Murderer
By HonestReporting.com
July 8, 2008

Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem: Bias in Euro Headlines
By Ricki Hollander
July 2, 2008

Caught: BBC's Shocking First Response to Terror Attack
By HonestReporting.com
July 2, 2008

Telling the Truce?
By HonestReporting.com
June 29, 2008

Questions Remain Over BBC Response
By HonestReporting.com
June 17, 2008

BBC's Mark Urban Feeds Anti-Israel Prejudice
By Maxime Myer-Smith
June 12, 2008

BBC Reporter: Genuine Eyewitness or Palestinian Propagandist?
By HonestReporting.com
June 8, 2008

The BBC's Birthday Present to Israel
By HonestReporting.com
May 7, 2008

BBC Poll: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
By HonestReporting.com
April 7, 2008

Report Accuses BBC Arabic of Anti-Israel Bias
By HonestReporting.com
March 27, 2008

More BBC Apologies
By HonestReporting.com
March 24, 2008

BBC Corrects Fabricated Home Demolition Report
By Ricki Hollander, Max Myer
March 11, 2008

Selective Reporting by the BBC
By Ricki Hollander
February 26, 2008

Turning a Terrorist into a Cult Hero
By W. Thomas Smith, Jr
February 19, 2008

Guardian Video: One Minute, One-Sided
By HonestReporting.com
February 6, 2008

The BBC and the Bombers in Dimona
By Ricki Hollander
February 5, 2008

BBC Doesn't Deny HR Report Findings
By HonestReporting.com
January 23, 2008

One Year Analysis: The BBC in 2007
By HonestReporting.com
January 10, 2008

What the West Should Learn from the Assault on Israel and the Jews
By Manfred Gerstenfeld
August 1, 2007

6 Month Analysis of the BBC: The Subtle Bias
By HonestReporting.com
July 19, 2007

BBC Adopts the Arab Narrative of the Six-Day-War
By Steven Stotsky
July 11, 2007

'Casual Anti-Americanism' Seen at the BBC, Say Critics
By Kevin McCandless
June 19, 2007

BBC's All-Out Apology
By HonestReporting.com
June 19, 2007

BBC Network Admits it: We're Biased Toward Left
By WorldNetDaily.com
June 17, 2007

BBC: Obstacle to Understanding on Refugees
By Tamar Sternthal
June 10, 2007

BBC: Obstacle to Understanding on Water
By Tamar Sternthal
June 10, 2007

BBC Pushes Arab Narrative of Six-Day War
By Gilead Ini
June 7, 2007

BBC: Obstacle to Understanding on Jerusalem
By Tamar Sternthal
May 31, 2007

BBC Resists Attempts to Release Report on its Mideast Coverage
By Kevin McCandless
March 30, 2007

The Palestinian Government: "All Forms of Resistance"
By HonestReporting.com
March 19, 2007

Meanwhile at the BBC
By The New Criterion
March 2007

A Beeb’s Eye View of Iran
By Joseph Loconte
February 28, 2007

Call to Replace BBC Mideast Editor after BBC Memo Blames Israel for Terrorist Infighting and PA Debacle
By Militant Islam Monitor
February 7, 2007

Blog On! - Media Responds to HR Critiques
By HonestReporting.com
January 29, 2007

BBC Bowen's World
By HonestReporting.com
January 11, 2007

Yes, We Are Biased on Religion and Politics, Admit BBC Executives
By Paul Revoir
October 22, 2006

Media Missiles
By Tom Gross
August 2, 2006

Who's Targeting Lebanese Civilians?
By James Taranto
August 2, 2006

BBC Headline Falsely Charges Beirut Airport “Destroyed”
By Alex Safian, PhD
July 29, 2006

A BBC Fable
By Andrea Levin
July 28, 2006

U.S. vs. Them
By Denis Boyles
July 28, 2006

BBC Spins Area of Beirut Affected by Bombing (pdf)
By FrontPageMag.com
July 21, 2006

Biased Beeb
By Denis Boyles
July 21, 2006

BBC Does Not Give "Full and Fair Account" of Middle East Conflict
By Ricki Hollander
July 17, 2006

BBC: News Organization or Palestinian Propagandists?
By Ricki Hollander
June 29, 2006

The Other British Invasion
By Jonathan Boyd Hunt
May 15, 2006

Report Critical of BBC Mideast Coverage
HonestReporting.com
May 7, 2006

Panel Says BBC Should be More Accurate in Mideast Coverage
By Kevin McCandless
May 4, 2006

BBC's Hardtalk Host Harangues Halevy with Hostile Questions
By Lee Green
April 6, 2006

BBC Partially Revises Biased Timeline on Web
CAMERA
March 10, 2006

Islamofeminism in Hamastan : Burqas and Martyr Moms
Militant Islam Monitor
March 3, 2006

Craven at the BBC
New Criterion
March 2006

Truth Elusive in BBC’s (and PBS's) The Elusive Peace
By Alex Safian, PhD
December 19, 2005

Booms Over Gaza
Honest Reporting
November 10, 2005

On BBC Website, Israeli Noise More Serious than Palestinian Terrorism
By Ricki Hollander
November 4, 2005

BBC Bias
By Steven Plaut
April 22, 2005

The BBC's Reality-Free TV
By Carol Gould
March 28, 2005

BBC’s “Inspiring” Thought
By HonestReporting.com
February 16, 2005

Weeping for Yassir
By HonestReporting.com
November 1, 2004

Documenting BBC Documentaries: Overwhelming Anti-Israel Bias
By HonestReporting.com
July 26, 2004

BBC Radio Farce
By HonestReporting.com
June 17, 2004

The Pravda BBC
By Alexis Amory
January 16, 2004

BBC's Selective Sensitivity
By HonestReporting.com
January 15, 2004

BBC Vows to Fight On
By HonestReporting.com
November 1, 2000

 


Click here to view a sample Profile.

Broadcasting House
Portland Place
London W1A 1AA
United Kingdom
Phone :0870 010 0222
URL: Website
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)'s Visual Map


  • The most powerful broadcasting megalopoly in the United Kingdom
  • Held the monopoly on TV broadcasting in the UK for 33 years and on radio in the UK for 51 years, and continues to be funded by an annual tax on TV sets



In 1904 the United Kingdom's Wireless Telegraphy Act put the Royal Post Office in control of issuing broadcast licenses. In 1919, after complaints that new broadcasters were interfering with military communications, the Post Office stopped issuing these licenses, and by 1922 new stations were permitted to begin broadcasting only as part of a monopoly called the British Broadcasting Company. In 1927 a royal charter converted this company into the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC.

Today this nominally autonomous corporation is run by a Board of Governors whose members are appointed to four-year (formerly five-year) terms by the elected government in Parliament. The BBC is managed by a Director General appointed by the Governors.

BBC airs no advertising. Its broadcasts are funded by a "licence fee" levied on every household that owns a television set. The poor and other favored groups are exempted from this tax, and those with black-and-white TVs pay less than those with color. This annual tax of approximately $195 per color-television household gives BBC its own earmarked revenue of approximately $5.2 billion each year, which it uses to produce and broadcast programs and to maintain the largest news-gathering operation in the world.

BBC Radio broadcasts what Americans would call five distinct networks or channels -- news and sports (BBC Radio 5); what used to be called its Home Service (Radio 4); cultural programming (Radio 3); easy listening jazz and folk music (Radio 2); and contemporary music (Radio 1).

BBC Television launched the world's first regular television service in 1936 from the Alexandra Palace in London. It has aired ever since, except during World War II when it temporarily went dark lest its signal be detected by German bombers over London. That channel, now known as BBC One, broadcasts mostly dramas, comedies, game shows and soap operas.  BBC Two was launched in 1964 and today it features more eclectic, cultural and news-oriented programs than BBC One.

BBC has long exported its programs and documentaries, many of which air in the United States on PBS. It also broadcasts a few imported foreign programs. BBC Radio shows and news stories are broadcast in the U.S. by the stations of Pacifica Radio and National Public Radio.

BBC airs its own noncommercial UK news channel (BBC News 24) to compete with Cable News Network (CNN) and the Rupert Murdoch sister operation to Fox, Sky News in Europe. BBC also produces BBC World, a commercial news network broadcast worldwide outside the UK, that shares reporters and stories with BBC News 24. Many of its stories also air on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). A half-hour version of BBC World News is available to PBS stations via WLIW in New York and it can presently be viewed by 80 to 90 percent of U.S. residents.

BBC today, by some measures, has only 28 percent of the audience "share" it once commanded. Unlike a capitalist enterprise, the corporation needs neither profits nor high audience ratings to survive -- but it does need political support. That support has eroded in recent years for a variety of reasons, among them the hard-left political bias evident in its programs and public statements.

When Conservative Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister (1979-90) and hinted that she might privatize BBC, the Corporation preemptively attacked her with its comedy series "Yes, Minister" to portray the government as laughably incompetent. BBC reporters are widely perceived as favoring the political left, and as being inclined to criticize conservatives while supporting the socialist Labour Party. In 1997 the ascent of "New Labour" leader Tony Blair as Britain's Prime Minister was greeted enthusiastically by BBC, as were his political appointees to run BBC, Gavyn Davies as Chairman and Greg Dyke as Director General.

By contrast, when Prime Minister Blair and President George W. Bush worked as allies to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, BBC responded by slanting its reporting heavily against the military effort, focusing mostly on British casualties and giving much airtime to politicians and anti-war activists who criticized Mr. Blair. This slanted presentation was referenced by BBC's own defense correspondent in Qatar, Paul Adams, who filed an internal BBC memo that was leaked and reported in the Labourite newspaper The Guardian: "I was gobsmacked to hear, in a set of headlines today, that the coalition was suffering 'significant casualties.' This is simply not true," wrote Adams. "… Who dreamed up the line that the coalition are achieving 'small victories at a very high price?'” The truth, wrote Adams, "is exactly the opposite. The gains are huge and costs still relatively low." BBC reporting so heavily played on the theme of British soldiers wounded and killed in Iraq that in March 2003 it felt compelled to promise more sensitivity to the feelings of soldier family members back home, and that it would show no more footage of seriously injured soldiers.

The crew members of the HMS Ark Royal, the flagship of the Royal Navy stationed in the Persian Gulf, became so disgusted with the one-sided anti-war slant of the BBC that they tuned their television sets to Sky News. "The BBC always takes the Iraqis' side," said one British sailor in the Persian Gulf. "It reports what they say as gospel but when it comes to us it questions and doubts everything the British and Americans are reporting."

In July 2003 a report on BBC Radio 4 quoted an anonymous government official suggesting that the Blair government had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, contrary to the wishes of the intelligence services. An investigation that followed found that the reporter's charges were inaccurate.

The London Telegraph obtained numerous internal BBC memos and emails. In them, one of BBC's "most senior news managers," Hugh Berlyn, criticized BBC's news reports as untrustworthy, inaccurate, and potentially libelous because the Corporation's journalists frequently fail to check their facts, and because BBC often broadcasts these stories without oversight by an editor.

"The BBC is no longer relied on in the way it was," admitted Labour member of Parliament Gerald Kaufman, Chair of the Commons Committee on Culture and the Media. "It's placed itself in a situation where its word isn't accepted automatically anymore. It's gone from being an institution to just another broadcaster, and a shoddy one at that."

Detailed analyses of BBC bias, with many examples from its news coverage of the Iraq War and the Arab-Israeli conflict, can be found at bbcwatch.com and biased-bbc.blogspot.com. BBC reporting about the Middle East is usually critical of Israel and sympathetic towards Palestinians.

BBC's choice of commentators for its coverage of the American election in 2004 included former Bill Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal; former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; billionaire financier of leftist causes George Soros; and filmmaker Michael Moore.

 

 

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