I’m not of the opinion that the BBC is entirely perfect. I do think that individual journalists and presenters on the BBC on occasion allow their personal political preferences to show – it would be absurd to pretend otherwise, frankly.
But what I don’t believe is that the BBC is inherently biased, or that BBC political editors are forcing the entire BBC agenda to be overtly pro- or anti- a given political party.
These accusations were levelled heavily at Nick Robinson, and they’re currently being levelled at his successor: Laura Kuenssberg. Most specifically, it’s been alleged that the BBC are ‘anti-Labour’.
Here’s the bottom line: it’s not bias when the BBC report negative things about Labour that have actually happened. It’s not bias when BBC journalists aggressively interview members of the Labour party. It’s not bias when the BBC report on strife within the Labour party.
It’s not the BBC’s job to be nice about HM Opposition. It’s not any journalist’s job to be nice about any politician.
It’s their job to challenge, criticise and generally hold our political leaders to account. The BBC do a decent job of this.
They’re not perfect. But they’re far from institutionally biased – and demanding the head of each and every journalist who criticises your favourite party (or, let’s be honest here: Jeremy Corbyn), is a terrible way to go about things.
Journalists must be free to speak truth to power.