Brexit: BBC Accused of ‘Journalistic Cowardice’


During the summer, the BBC was forced into issuing a written defence of its Brexit coverage after columnist Nick Cohen accused the corporation of “journalistic cowardice” in its reporting of the EU Referendum and its aftermath.

Cohen said the BBC’s “celebrity presenters” had failed to ask the “hard questions” of the Leave campaign. “The BBC’s reporting of the scandals around the Brexit referendum is not biased or unbalanced: it barely exists,” Cohen wrote.

ITV’s political editor Robert Peston said

I love the BBC but I did feel that during the Brexit campaign they slightly got confused about what impartial journalism meant.

“The problem with the BBC was during the campaign it put people on with diametrically-opposed views,” he said. “It did not give any help in assessing which one was the loony and which one was the genius.” Peston ended by saying that the BBC was neither balanced nor impartial when it came to Brexit.

BBC Veteran Jon Simpson went on the defence but somehow got it wrong by saying: “not just people on the political extremes accusing BBC news of bias but “the middle-of-the-roaders”. In other words, everyone on the left, right and centre accused the BBC of bias.

Mike Galsworthy from wrote a searing piece criticising the BBC for its overall coverage by saying:

“The corporation has been frozen with fear after countless attacks from the reactionary right and is systematically failing to uphold its responsibilities for public education. It has prioritised character-driven political soap-opera over communicating the huge unpublicised evidence base. And the country is poorer for it.“

The real truth is that even if the BBC had reported in a fashion that was proven to be unbiased, half of the population probably wouldn’t agree. In any event, this makes little difference because the BBC’s reporting of the emerging scandals around Brexit since the referendum just simply does not exist in any meaningful way.

Take the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data leak. This was an attack by foreign-born billionaires using foreign corporations and shell companies to usurp democracy in Britain. How is that not one of the biggest scandals of modern times? The story was offered to the BBC but they rejected it. They said that there was no “smoking gun.” A week later, the smoke billowing from Facebook’s Californian headquarters represented little more than the smouldering embers of its previously solid reputation. It wiped off $80billion from its stock price in a matter of hours. Since then, Facebook has lost some 35 percent plus of its share price – due almost entirely to its cavalier approach to data, privacy and, well frankly, sense of morality.  Apparently, this was not an important story.

How about the Brexit campaign funding scandal? Was this not illegal, corrupt, unethical and immoral? Again, the BBC was offered this story and again they chose not to cover it. What about how the pollsters sold information to currency traders to short the pound when they knew that Brexit was going to happen but told no-one else? Was this not the equivalent of insider dealing? Why has it taken the likes of independent media with little in the way of funding to break open these scandals and not the BBC? It makes you wonder what we don’t know.

In a world where journalism is being destroyed by the internet, the BBC is in a unique position, not just domestically but internationally. It rakes in about £150 from every household in the country uniquely shielding it from having to raise money to survive. The result is that it dominates the British media space and then spends millions in ‘soft’ propaganda on behalf of the state abroad.

The BBC’s coverage of Brexit has, if anything, been about sleight of hand. By omission, it has allowed an axis of political fanaticism, tech and an oligarchy to operate the strings of democracy in Britain and let it go unreported. If Russia had had any meaningful involvement in Britain’s EU referendum it was barely visible or audible. But America’s attack of Britain has been intense and at times vociferous through the mouthpieces it chose, namely the politicians in their pockets, the think tanks and charities who were given plenty of airtime. America’s campaign has certainly been well-funded and outshines by hundreds of millions the minute amount found by investigators of potential Putin plots to destabilise the UK that the BBC did report on numerous occasions that have been mere distractions from the truth.


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Articles by: True Publica

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