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131029bbcbias

Vox Political readers forcemajeure007 and Sarah Ledsom have been in touch to forward the responses they have received from the BBC to their complaints about the non-coverage of the People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration on Saturday.

Like the (lack of) coverage itself, it is extremely disappointing.

Both commenters received exactly the same response, with the only change in wording at the top – their own names. The remainder reads as follows:

“Thanks for contacting us about coverage of the People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration on 21 June.

“We understand you feel there was insufficient coverage of this demonstration by BBC News.

“We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this general response aims to answer the key concerns raised, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.

“Your concerns were raised with senior editorial staff at BBC News who responded as follows:

“’We covered this demonstration on the BBC News Channel* with five reports throughout Saturday evening, on the BBC News website on Sunday, as well as on social media. We choose which stories we cover based on how newsworthy they are and what else is happening and we didn’t provide extensive coverage because of a number of bigger national and international news stories that day, including the escalating crisis in Iraq, British citizens fighting in Syria and the death of Gerry Conlon.**

“‘We frequently report on the UK economy and what it means for the British public. We also reflect the concerns of people such as those demonstrating, and others who hold opposing views, across our daily news output on TV, radio as well as online, and we also explore them in more depth including in our political programming and current affairs investigations, debates on ‘Question Time’ and during interviews and analysis on programmes such as ‘PM’ and ‘Newsnight’. Inevitably, there may be disagreements over the level of prominence we give to stories, but we believe our coverage of this subject has been fair and impartial.’”

It seems the BBC’s bosses have caught the Tory disease and cannot be bothered to apologise when they make a mistake. If they received a “wide range” of feedback about their coverage, and are now responding with a form letter, rather than individually, you can be sure that many, many people complained. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the response was wholly negative, given that coverage was restricted to a few spots on the rolling news channel and the utterly pathetic excuse for a story on the website.

Does anybody else believe that was fair and impartial?

If so, consider this. In 2011 the BBC covered a PRO-austerity demonstration by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (of all organisations). Total attendance: 350 people.

They’ll cover a 350-strong pro-austerity demo but not a 50,000-strong anti-austerity event.

Fair and impartial?

Don’t make me choke.

*If it was on the BBC News Channel, why not the main news?

** And the Solstice, which happens every year.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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