Broadcaster political bias – not just a BBC phenomenon

Regular readers will be familiar with the often noted examples of BBC bias when it comes to political coverage and promoting activism.

But a piece in the Irish Independent today shows the problem of state broadcaster employees exhibiting political bias is not confined to the BBC.

It seems monitoring of Ireland’s RTE news and current affairs coverage by Fianna Fail has thrown up some interesting statistics showing a similar phenomenon on the other side of the Irish Sea, particularly with the flagship Prime Time programme.  Fianna Fail have submitted a dossier to RTE outlining their accusation of bias by the broadcaster:

The submission, which contained statistical evidence, states: “Prime Time appears to have taken a radically different approach to covering opposition voice. Before the election, share of voice was clearly biased in favour of the opposition. Since the election, that bias has been dramatically reversed.”

It goes on to say that despite identical Dail representation, Labour enjoyed 21.6 per cent share of voice before the election (when in opposition), compared to Fianna Fail’s 10.1 per cent after the election (having lost the election and become the main opposition). Fianna Fail is now getting more than 100 per cent less access to Prime Time than the Labour Party in the same position.  It certainly suggests a very uneven approach to coverage that amounts to bias by omission.

Of course it won’t come as a shock that the more avowedly socialist a political party is, the more favoured it is by media corps stuffed to the gills with ‘progressive’ hacks keen to push their ideology on the public.  But in Ireland this bunfight is somewhat interesting as the political spectrum ranges from broadly socialist to extreme socialist with nothing approaching a small ‘c’ conservative alternative.  Perhaps ideological purity is the name of the game?

4 Responses to “Broadcaster political bias – not just a BBC phenomenon”


  1. 1 barry laughton (@kilkeal) 26/02/2012 at 10:00 pm

    Whilst agreeing there should not be political bias by broadcasters, the situation in Ireland is different to the UK. The respect to ministers, (the ruling parties/Coalition) touch the forelock, is much more pronounced in Ireland, so the ruling party always has the edge; and certainly fianna fail when in power had a fair crack of the whip. There is no doubt that fianna fail was the party which bought Ireland into bankruptcy, the new no boom and bust policy, a sad failure.

  2. 2 james higham 27/02/2012 at 1:07 pm

    Of course it won’t come as a shock that the more avowedly socialist a political party is, the more favoured it is by media corps stuffed to the gills with ‘progressive’ hacks keen to push their ideology on the public.

    Perhaps it’s not so much the bias as the refusal to admit it.

  3. 3 Sam Duncan 27/02/2012 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t agree that broadcasters shouldn’t be biased. On the contrary: it’s unavoidable. The objectionable part is when some broadcasters pretend to be impartial and claim a right to taxpayers’ money on that basis.

  4. 4 Span Ows 28/02/2012 at 8:40 pm

    Fianna Fail have submitted a dossier to RTE outlining their accusation of bias by the broadcaster:

    When will anyone in the UK have the balls to present several overflowing dossiers (say, one day’s worth) to the BBC: Cameron and Co will reap what they sow for not clamping down on the ever more overtly bias BBC.


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