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Monday, July 07, 2008

A complaint to the BBC

I have just e-mailed this complaint to the BBC via their website:

I wish to complain that tonight's Panorama dedicated an entire 30 minute programme to the English NHS without making it clear that their comments applied only to England. The tone of the programme led viewers to believe that it applies to the whole of the UK when it does not. There was no attempt to draw any contrasts with how the NHS operates in other part of the UK, which actually might have underlined the point being made. This is completely contrary to the recommendations in the King Report. It seems that it did not take the BBC long to revert to type.
You may have been out pouring the tea or something Peter, but I distinctly recall seeing a section explaining that we effectively did not have a National Health Service because Wales and Scotland were diverging very quickly from England and then continued on about how the changes in England were obviously more reflective of the UK government's corporatizeation agenda.

To be sure, it was not a long snippet, but they even had all the flags flying through the screen in the graphic, so I really do remember it.

Obviously you must get Panorama in Wales region, I wonder if it is shown on BBC Scotland or whether they have something else. Not uncommon.
Well done Peter, but please do more. Make an official complaint to both the programme and the BBC Trust. Just copy the same e-mail to a few more people. It will have a lot more effect.
Love the comment, "... it did not take the BBC long to revert to type".
I did e-mail the programme as well. Jock, clearly I did miss it but a disclaimer like that hardly compensates for the rest of the programme which continued to talk of the NHS rather than the English NHS.

If they want to deliver the recommendations of the King Report then the BBC need to write the whole script accordingly. And why are they broadcasting a programme about England in Wales anyway? What is the point of producing a programme that is relevant to just part of your audience? It sounds like the disclaimer was an afterthought.
I agree with Jock. You would expect a Scottish reporter to be mindful of the differences, and she was.

In fact, I remember thinking that this was one of the few BBC news & current affairs programmes which did recognise devolution.
I've made the same complaint in the past about the reporting of bowel cancer screening. In that instance, I too had missed an insignificant disclaimer. Your general point is well made. Keep making it.
I made a complaint to the BBC regarding their portrail of Greyhound racing on CBBC, specifically their comments about "greyhounds becoming homeless.." after their racing days are over; they are euthanised usually with a hammer, greyhounds don't end up selling copies of the big issue. No joy!

The bbc is also very heavily biased during sports presenting, as anyone seeing the six nations rugby, England win, makes the news headlines, Wales win, doesn't usually merit a mention.

Perhaps the BBC should be called the HCBC (Home Counties Broadcasting Company)

G. Lewis
Bridgend Lib Dems
It does rather beg the question as to why this was even being screened in Wales when it clearly does not apply here.

Either Panaorama need to get their collective head round the fact that things have changed post-devolution. or else they should screen something which ie relevant to Wales whenever they're banging on about things that only apply in England.
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