Thursday, 18 July 2013

The BBC don't let the truth get in the way of a good story

The media’s use of expertise
The editor of “The Psychologist” (journal of the British Psychological Society) recently reviewed two BBC 1 programmes. One of the programmes concerned memory, while the other was about people who hoard things compulsively. “The Psychologist” is written for, and read by, professional psychologists. The review appears in the June edition of the journal.
BBC One logo - from Wikipedia
The reviewer notes that a number of eminent psychologists, experts in their own field, had been invited to contribute to each of the programmes, and had in fact done so, although in many cases their contributions were not used in the completed programmes. He notes further that “there was enough material to make a really decent standalone documentary about memory” but that nearly all of it had been discarded in favour of the programme makers’ preference for “a good story”. The reviewer asks: “Are psychologists aboard for the ride, or simply being taken for one?” One of the psychologists involved is quoted as saying: “You don’t know what you’re getting into. They’re just making a television programme, it’s just whatever fits”.    
A letter in the July edition of “The Psychologist” responds to this review. The writer explains that he has made several radio and TV appearances, and warns that “the media always have an agenda! Whether dealing with a director, producer or journalist, they will have already decided what direction they want the programme to go in, what they want from you, and how they want to present you, the contributor... As the producers of the programme have the editorial control, their agenda will always take prominence”.
To be fair, the letter-writer goes on to say that programme makers are usually prepared to disclose and even discuss their agenda, if asked; and suggests that any expert psychologist invited to appear on television should make a point of doing just that, and refuse involvement if it seems that his or her contribution is going to be distorted or discarded, or indeed if the programme itself is likely to involve unethical activity of any sort.
The message to be extracted from all this by viewers and listeners is: suspect bias in all documentaries. You are not seeing what the experts, enthusiastic about their own subject, would like to pass on to you; you are seeing a patchwork of pictures and comments, each taken out of the context in which it belongs, and designed to make you feel complacent, or comfortably superior, or self-righteously indignant, or simply amused, - anything just so long as you will switch on again for the next documentary programme and boost the viewing figures.    
By prayer crusader under the patronage of St. Teresa of Avila.


  1. The BBC really has lost it. They can’t expect to keep editing the truth out of their programs and imagine they will get away with it. The more devious they become the more they will be found out.

  2. Dr Goebbels would have ben proud of the BBC , they have perfected the big lie to a far greater sophistication than he could ever have dreamt of. Doesn't it make one proud to be British to think that our broadcaster lead the world in misinformation.

    1. You are right Dr Goebbels would have been very proud of the BBC. It not only Britain that in trouble through misinformation and downright mendacious programming the whole of broadcast world is full of deceit we can you hold on tight to the Gospels and the Church. The secular world and it counties are not worth our support – just our prayers for their conversion.