Friday, April 1, 2016

Two hander

Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian accuses the BBC of being too timid in the run-up to the referendum on Britain in or out of the EU, with the Today programme in his sights.

The current Professor of European Studies at Oxford University, he argues that discussions are all cast and conducted with stay/remain views, and that's not always the right thing to do.

No sooner has a report begun but you’re waiting for the other foot to fall. The presenters might just as well shorten the balancing qualifier to OSD – “other side disagrees”. 

This is not bias towards in or out. It’s more like what the American media analyst Brooke Gladstone slyly calls “fairness bias”. You give equal airtime to unequal arguments, without daring to say that, on this or that point, one side has more evidence, or a significantly larger body of expert opinion, than the other.

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