BBC bias - then and now at the ICA

 by Martin Belam, 21 February 2007

London seems packed with events at the moment that I would love to attend but can't. Tomorrow sees a talking event at the ICA called "Is the BBC institutionally biased?"

Ex-BBC journalist Robin Aitken will be there as part of the promotional thrust for his book "Can We Trust the BBC?", whilst batting for the BBC, I presume, will be Peter Horrocks, current head of TV News at Television Centre. Aitken's book has produced some excited comment over at Biased BBC, and I expect I shall be picking up a copy on my next foray back to the UK. Tim Gardam and Jean Seaton make up the rest of the panel.

The ICA are billing their event as examing how perceptions of the BBC have changed over time.

In the 1950s the BBC was seen as Conservative. Since the '80s it has been accused of Leftism. Is the BBC institutionally biased? How does this affect the way that news is presented? What issues does it raise about the BBC's relationship to the State? Is objectivity as important as balance?

Now, I wouldn't suggest the ICA has in any was pre-judged the outcome of the debate, but given as it is part of their "The New Left: Then and Now" season, I'm not expecting any surprises as to what the main thrust of the conclusion might be...

ICA website

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