Last week saw the release of the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for January, reported in the Press Gazette. For those who don’t tend to keep an eye on newspaper circulation the audit throws up an interesting picture (including some poor proofing of the figures).
It also poses a question for the BBC’s management about its relationship with the Guardian.
When you look at these figures it is easy to see why the BBC should account for the disproportionate number of television and radio appearances by journalists from the Guardian. When given a choice of a national newspaper we can see that out of an average 10,197,331 copies sold each day during January 2011 (including bulk buys) less than 280,000 copies in the UK were the Guardian. That represents just under 2.74% of national circulation.
That puts the Guardian’s popularity, or lack thereof, in its proper context. So why is it hardly a day goes by where a Guardian journalist is not rolled out onto the BBC airwaves to promote their opinion and analysis to the viewing and listening audience? One only has to watch BBC TV or listen to BBC radio to see that no other newspaper’s journalists feature so frequently.
The figures show the Guardian’s news and comment is overwhelmingly rejected by those who choose to part with their money to take national newspapers. Yet the BBC is determined to push the Guardian’s views on the public via the airwaves, something we are forced to pay for under pain of fine or imprisonment. There is also crossover with BBC personalities publishing their comments in Guardian columns. How is this balanced or impartial? We wait in vain for an answer.
What this also puts into context is the BBC’s indefensible bias in only trawling a very narrow and self professed left wing pool when only using the Guardian to advertise vacancies. It is a measure of the naked political bias inherent in our national public service broadcaster, which proves it is nothing more than a self serving broadcaster.