The openDemocracy website has published a report into the BBC's coverage of the highly controversial Health and Social Care Act this morning.
This 8,000 word report uses rigorous research methods and detailed analysis to confirm what many have claimed: that the BBC has failed in its responsibilities to inform the British public about one of the most important pieces of legislation of the 21st century. Key findings include:
- the BBC never questioned or explored the lack of democratic mandate for the changes to the NHS
- they consistently presented the bill using the government’s own highly contested description
- expert critics were not given the space and opportunity to highlight the true nature of their objections
- financial links between healthcare firms, the Conservatives and the House of Lords were never reported
- the significant role of the private sector in Lansley’s new health market was never explored
- fears over privatisation were occasionally stated but never explored or explained
- the role of private firms in commissioning care was not properly explained, if at all
- the role of private firms in creating the bill was never examined or reported
- sources with significant links to private healthcare were presented without a disclosure of their interests
- the BBC censored key stories, particularly as the bill reached its final stages. On 19 March 2012 when the bill was finally passed in the Lords, BBC Online published not a single article of news or analysis on the bill.
We blame Murdoch and the right wing media for censoring the messages we get: the reality is that the BBC does it too. Be very worried.