New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Politics
17 November 2009

BBC in awe of Sun

More on Murdoch's needlessly given influence

By James Macintyre

Regular readers — such as they are — will know that for my sins I have an obsession with Rupert Murdoch: namely, the pathetic way in which Labour and the Tories grant him unnecessary influence by pandering to his right-wing ideological agenda, forgetting that he simply backs winners.

Today, the excellent Simon Fletcher rightly points out that the BBC, too, gives huge and needless boosts to the Sun by following its news agenda, as it did so excitedly last week over the Jacqui Janes letter.

Blogging on an appearance on the BBC news channel by Trevor Kavangah, the Sun‘s assistant editor, to mark the tabloid’s 40th birthday, Fletcher writes:

The Sun does indeed frequently set the agenda for broadcasters. But only because broadcast journalism lets it.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

He adds:

However much one may regularly disagree with it, the Sun is an example of an effective right-wing populist paper. If it has a really good story then it is inevitable that it will reverberate in the broadcast media. But that does not excuse the BBC’s over-reliance on the agenda it sets. The days of BBC coverage of Gordon Brown’s letter to Jacqui Janes, and the vast amount of airspace given over to the paper’s switching party political preference, are two examples of stories that have given the Sun plenty of coverage but without bringing much credit to the BBC.

Last week the BBC got it badly wrong, declaring it — as razor-sharp Andrew Grice points out on his blog — Brown’s worst week. When it comes to news sense, surely it is time for a rethink at White City.

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change