19 July 2005

Why the BBC is as important as the NHS.

In the Sun this week, Richard Littlejohn compared all Muslims to Nazis. We have to start asking ourselves what sort of media do we have where the biggest selling daily newspaper can print such articles.

We have a media that actively promotes apathetic ignorance and unhealthy diets. It sneers at intelligence in a race to the lowest common denominator. This does untold damage to our society. If Blair wants to find the source of our youth's lack of respect or our nation's poor health, he need look no further. Without a truly free press expressing a range of opinions we have a dysfunctional democracy.

Unfortunately the BBC has to sing to the tune of the press which sets the daily agenda, but it does at least provide a range of opinion across its spectrum of programming.

The commercial sector hates criticism and sees the threat from an organisation not reliant on advertising. This is why big business and the press are so critical of the BBC.

The broadcast media are governed by laws aimed at preventing bias in their reporting. Although not perfect it does prevent the overt bias seen in the press. Is it not time we extended this law to the press? It is time the government had a strategy to promote the long term quality of life of its citizens, not just short term corporate interests.

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