A report has found the BBC’s coverage of Brexit to be overwhelmingly negative
The research into flagship Radio 4 show Today, compiled by independent news monitoring group News-watch, found that of the 366 guest speakers who appeared in the Business News segment between June 24 and December 22 last year, 192 of them (52.5 per cent) were negative about it.
According the research compiled on behalf of a cross-party group of MPs, only 60 (16.3 per cent) expressed opinions which were pro-Brexit or saw the post-referendum economic outlook as positive.
There were 114 (31 per cent) neutral contributions.
Critics yesterday pointed to the research, which shows there were three times more anti-Brexit speakers than pro-Brexit ones in the prestigious slot, as evidence the BBC had broken its charter requirement to be impartial.
The research was carried out into Radio 4’s Today was complied by News-watch
Labour MP Kate Hoey: “This report is further evidence that the BBC has not accepted the verdict of the British people to leave the EU. Their continuous negative coverage and their downgrading of positive stories with the phrase ‘despite Brexit’ must stop. It is clear that many of the BBC journalists have not been able to hide their personal bias in favour of staying in the EU. The public have the right to expect genuine impartiality and fair reporting.”
According to the report, the BBC’s negativity towards Brexit was also “blatant” in the introductions to the Business News sequences.
Brexit: Results of how the UK voted Mon, March 20, 2017
Much of the North East of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland
Getty Images 1 of 8
GREAT YARMOUTH: The town of Great Yarmouth on the East Coast of England voted by 72% to leave the European Union.
Only 22 (10.6 per cent) of them were clearly positive – though often even they were immediately followed by a negative interview.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Between them, the negative guests painted a “relentlessly pessimistic picture of gloom, doom and uncertainty; of plunging economic prospects; of a collapse of consumer confidence; of rising inflation; of a drying up of investment; of job freezes; of a drain of jobs from London to mainland Europe; of skills shortages because of the ending of free movement; of the introduction of tariffs; and of endless complex renegotiation”, the report concluded.
The BBC claimed its coverage was impartial and reflected the view of the business community accurate
The BBC accused News-Watch of having a “slanted perspective”.
A spokesman said: “The BBC’s coverage has impartially presented an accurate reflection of the business community’s viewpoints.
“The BBC has and will continue to cover Brexit in a responsible and impartial way independent of political pressure.”