BBC Panned for European Union Apathy

31 January 2005

British state funded broadcaster, the BBC, has been upbraided for its sparse, uninformative coverage of European Union news and affairs.

An independent panel commissioned by the BBC's board of governors, found "cultural and unintentional bias" in the way the broadcaster reported news from the EU.

It recommends better training for the corporation's journalists in matters European, the appointment of an EU editor and closer monitoring of what is broadcast.

BBC executives have set up a review to discuss the findings and will report back to the governors in February.

Research commissioned by the BBC from pollster MORI reveals that audiences believe the broadcaster "is not succeeding in providing basic accessible information on the topic of Europe, and urgent action is needed".

The MORI report calls on the corporation to produce a "basic" TV series about the vexed issue of Europe as part of its public service remit.

This latest round of BBC bashing has drawn support from both sides of the European debate, anti-EU campaigners and UK officials at the European Parliament, both of whom accuse the corporation of "reinforcing ignorance" among the British public.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff