Wednesday 18 May 2005


Not much point discussing the politics when it's already been done so well elsewhere, but a quick word about reporting bias.

For once, it wasn't just the BBC. The first report I saw last night was on ITV, and, jaded though I am, I was still shocked that a mainstream news report could display such blatant bias. Later, the BBC, as expected, did exactly the same, but they weren't any worse than ITN. So what was it they did? How did this bias manifest itself?

Well, they simply avoided broadcasting anything the investigating senators said.

Both channels' reports went something like this: footage of Galloway; speech from Galloway; voice-over talks about how powerfully Galloway had retalliated against the Senate; speech from Galloway; voice-over mentions question asked by unnamed senator; speechifying response from Galloway; voice-over mentions another question; speechifying response from Galloway; footage of Galloway outside the hearing, insulting still unnamed and unheard senators; quick seven-or-eight second clip of senator speaking hesitantly; more footage of Galloway.

No news report should ever look like that — regardless of the issue being reported.


I have since discovered that the senators presented evidence for around ninety minutes before Galloway said anything. What both news reports made clear was that Galloway started giving off the moment the senators opened their mouths, hardly letting them get a word in edgeways. That's misreporting.

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