Earlier today we noted that the BBC’s coverage of the Scottish referendum in independence today was terrible. The United Kingdom is on the verge of tearing itself apart, a rift that hasn’t been seen since the Irish revolution led to the Irish Free State in 1921.
It’s once-a-century historic.
And the BBC is NOWHERE on the story, today at least.
And now we have a confession from the BBC itself as to why this is so:
Coverage is limited to uncontroversial factual accounts of things like the logistics of voting, how the count will be done, or just the weather, so the BBC’s output can’t be seen as influencing the ballot while the polls are open.
“Or just the weather.” Oof.
The technical reason behind that is that British broadcasting law prevents TV channels from biasing the vote by covering it live in any meaningful way whatsoever. It’s not just the BBC. All TV channels in the UK abide by the same laws. But the BBC is hugely dominant in election coverage, and it is notable by its absence.
Right now, for instance, BBC News is literally reporting on its inability to report anything meaningful.
It’s painful to watch.
To be clear, it’s the law, not the Beeb, that is treating viewers like idiots here. As if less information is more helpful than more information.
It all ends at 10 pm London time, when the embargo lifts and the BBC’s live coverage of the count will kick into high gear. They have been teasing their animated map computer graphics all day. We’ll probably be citing it frequently.
But still … this needs to change.
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