Friday, November 28, 2003

BBC Director Greg Dyke Attacks US War Coverage
Mr. Dyke, who was given a broadcasting excellence award, said news channels needed to challenge governments.
Novel concept.
"News organisations should be in the business of balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other," he said.

He said coverage of the war showed the difference between the US and the UK.

He said the need for balance was "something which seemed to get lost in American reporting during the war".


In his speech, Mr Dyke quoted research that showed that of 840 commentators aired on US TV, only four were opposed to the war.
Surely he must be mistaken, what with our liberally-biased media and all.
"Telling people what they want to hear is not doing them any favours. It may not be comfortable to challenge governments or even popular opinion, but it's what we are here to do."

Mr Dyke said TV channels had a "responsibility to broadcast a range of voices".

The fact the BBC's own news services - BBC World and News 24 - had "doubled" their audiences in the US in the last year showed there was an audience for more impartial news, he said.

"Our online services have experienced enormous growth too and have regularly received e-mails back from people here in the US saying 'Thank you for trying to explain events, thank you for being impartial'."


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