Is the BBC biased to the right?

Columnists quoting the NS Mark Thompson interview miss the point

A last word on my interview with the BBC Director General Mark Thompson last week. It was rather painful, if all too predictable, to read over the weekend several right-wing columnists -- including Peter Hitchens and Rod Liddle -- leap on Thompson's quote that the corporation had in the past suffered from a "massive left wing bias".

Especially as there is a very strong case for saying that the BBC is -- if anything at all -- in league with David Cameron's Tories, as we saw last week, if not actively biased to the right, as my colleague Mehdi Hasan argued in an unmissable piece last year.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.



In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.