EXCLUSIVE: BBC bias exposed as newspaper purchases reveals continued Guardian bias

For the second year running the BBC has been shown to disproportionately favour the Left-wing Guardian newspaper

by The Commentator on 7 May 2013 12:23


For the second year running, the BBC has been shown to have an inherent Left-leaning bias through its newspaper procurement policy which has again displayed a tilt towards The Guardian newspaper.

Last year, The Commentator revealed that the BBC bought more copies of The Guardian than any other UK newspaper, despite the paper's unpopularity with the British public.

Following a Freedom of Information request, new numbers reveal that Britain's largest news outlet, funded by a mandatory licence fee paid by all UK TV owners, again procured more copies of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper than any of its rivals.

The news comes despite the continuing decline of the Guardian newspaper circulation amongst the general public. The paper, which openly declares its Left-wing editorial line, is one of the least read outlets in the United Kingdom, chalking up around 215,000 sales per day in 2012, compared with the Daily Telegraph's 518,000. 

Despite these statistics, the BBC continues to purchase more copies of The Guardian (68,307 copies) than both the Telegraph (57,763) and The Times (59,490) and manages to pick up 50,398 copies of The Independent over the course of a year, a paper which registered an average of just 75,802 sales per day so far this year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Concerns are also raised over the BBC's increased procurement of newspapers altogether. In 2010/11, the BBC bought 402,115 papers, while in 2011/12, 471,518 papers were bought - an increase of 17 percent, despite the insistence that the BBC continues to cut costs. Most UK newspapers offer online versions for free.

The BBC's Left-leaning bias has been observed on numerous occasions by The Commentator, with various other websites dedicated to displaying the increasingly biased coverage in its Middle East reporting. In 2006, the BBC undertook a review of its Middle East reporting in the form of the Balen Report. To date, it has spent in excess of £330,000 of public money fighting the publication of the report through the British court system.

A review of the BBC's Sunday purchases however paints a different story. The organisation picked up 6169 copies of The Times in 2011/12, with the Sunday Telegraph coming in second at 5017 copies. Rupert Murdoch's new 'Sun on Sunday' paper was purchased just 178 times over the course of 2011/12, though this is due to the paper only being launched one month before the end of the financial year.

The results of The Commentator's Freedom of Information request do not however include all BBC offices, nor the purchase of newspapers for programme-making purposes - information that the BBC refuses to disclose because it is held for the purposes of "journalism, art or literature" - the same defence the corporation makes for failing to release the Balen Report.

The BBC said it could not disclose information pertaining to all BBC offices for the following reason:

"Due to the size of these operations, newspaper and magazine deliveries to the BBC buildings in London and Manchester for the relevant period were, for the most part, made via BBC managed service arrangements. Please note that ‘Manchester’ includes MediaCity from May 2011. Outside of these two locations, newspapers and magazines were delivered to BBC buildings by local newsagents. We do not hold a central record of any deliveries made by local newsagents and we would therefore need to contact all BBC offices and departments to establish whether there were any local arrangements. I estimate that to locate this information would take more than two and a half days; under section 12 of the Act, we are allowed to refuse to handle the request if it would exceed the appropriate limit."

In terms of magazine subscriptions, the BBC oddly procured 8 copies of its own magazines throughout the year, including BBC Focus, BBC Good Food Magazine, BBC History Magazine, BBC Music Magazine and BBC Wildlife. 


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