I wrote a complaint to the BBC today, which was a first for me. I love the BBC. I’ve always been part of the minority who feel the license fee represents great value for money, that the positive impact they have on the country as a whole is worth the cost. I’m not naïve enough to believe everything they do is farting sunshine and rainbows, but they’re actually that rare example of a British institution that I’m proud of.
Which has made the way they’ve fallen so desperately in love with the narrative of the UKIP surge so thoroughly depressing. I get that it’s a story, but leading into the next general election we have a dangerously right wing lunatic fringe being actively championed and promoted through the national mainstream press. It’s bewildering and infuriating, so I thought I’d throw my tuppence into the ring. The BBC are not the only culprits, not by any means (I note it’s ITV who have invited Farage to fart his half baked opinions into their cameras alongside the traditional three leaders and haven’t invited SNP or the Greens) but they are the one I help to fund.
Once I’d written it, I realised that the most it’ll achieve is to bore some intern at the complaints office for the minute it’ll take them to read it, so I might as well repeat it here, so it can bore you too. So here it is:
*Straightens tie and adopts Points of View voice*
Dear BBC (I didn’t write that, but it looks better on here)
I am writing to complain that your coverage of UKIP is entirely unbalanced, and driven entirely by a narrative that you wish to push, rather than by the facts. UKIP are not as yet a political party with any sway, and certainly with no more influence than the Green Party, yet you cover them with the same zeal and fervour that you do the main three parties, whilst ignoring the other smaller parties.
Where was your coverage of the Green Party conference? I don’t recall it getting mentioned in any of your TV or radio bulletins, and yet the UKIP party conference led the news reports. At the time of the conferences, the Greens were the only party of the two with a sitting MP, so why the publicity of one over the other?
Your organisation’s desire to have a political narrative that will engage viewers, readers and listeners with a ‘juicy story’ is having a huge impact on the political landscape, and quite contrary to the BBC’s principles of impartiality. Please can you address this and redress the coverage shown to this party and give it the status commensurate with its actual position in the political landscape.
So there you go. Doubt it’ll have any impact but worth a shot.
If you’d like to do the same, you can do so here.