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Letter from America

An American Perspective

Independent Media Matters

IN DECEMBER, a new documentary on bias in the 2014 independence referendum was dropped. No harm to the makers of London Calling, they did good work, but at this stage saying that the BBC has a pro-union and pro-government bias is a bit like declaring water to be wet. In point of fact, the BBC is a state broadcaster like Japan’s NHK. This means that so long as the powerful people running the institution have no interests at stake, the broadcaster is allowed to operate independently.

That’s dangerous. It means that when they do go into what former BBC journalist Paul Mason described as “Propaganda Mode” it’s doubly effective. By being generally trustworthy, it becomes harder to notice when they decide to have a more cavalier relationship with the truth, or when they’ve decided to phone it in because they can’t be bothered to do their own reporting.

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January 2017 Edition