Skip links
Published on: Updates

Open letter on BBC impartiality

In the impartiality row being stoked by the Government, facts and evidence are thin on the ground.

Last year, Dr Russell Jackson, senior lecturer in communication and public relations at Sheffield Hallam University, wrote an open letter to the BBC about the composition of Question Time, one of the BBC’s major political discussion programmes.

His careful analysis does indeed show bias and lack of impartiality – only this shows itself in a distinct and consistent right wing bias in the choice of panellists, how long they are permitted to speak, and the numbers of times they appear on the programme. Dr Jackson also raises questions about the opacity of how audience members are chosen.

He found, for example, that on one episode last year a Conservative MP was allowed to speak on immigration for ten minutes – longer than the time allowed for every other panellist combined. Dr Jackson also provides evidence to show that a disproportionate number of panellists from right-wing media organisations are selected, while panellists from left-wing and centrist media organisations are far thinner on the ground.

You can read Dr Jackson’s full letter here.

Leave a comment