The BBC And The NHS

I think Martin Shovel doesn’t get the recognition that his wit and drawing skills deserve.

In this case he details with the BBC’s attitude to the NHS:

Those readers unfamiliar with the issues would do well to read Oliver Huitson’s and openDemocracy contribution:

“The BBC’s coverage of the NHS bill represents a profound failure to inform the public on an issue of the utmost importance. To summarise, it appears that:

– the BBC never questioned or explored the lack of democratic mandate for the changes to the NHS

– they consistently presented the bill using the government’s own highly contested description

– expert critics were not given the space and opportunity to highlight the true nature of their objections

– financial links between healthcare firms, the Conservatives and the House of Lords were never reported

– the significant role of the private sector in Lansley’s new health market was never explored

– fears over privatisation were occasionally stated but never explored or explained

– the role of private firms in commissioning care was not properly explained, if at all

– the role of private firms in creating the bill was never examined or reported

– sources with significant links to private healthcare were presented without a disclosure of their interests

– the BBC censored key stories, particularly as the bill reached its final stages. On 19 March 2012 when the bill was finally passed in the Lords, BBC Online published not a single article of news or analysis on the bill. “

Not forgetting Oliver Huitson’s follow up:

“On lobbyists, the BBC frequently used sources without making clear their links to healthcare firms. For instance, Nick Seddon of “thinktank Reform” was often involved in the Beeb’s radio and online discussions, he also appeared on the Beeb’s recent “NHS day”. It was not mentioned that many of Reform’s financial backers are firms who stand to make substantial profits from the bill, including KPMG and Serco. Nor was it mentioned that Seddon’s former job was head of communications at Circle, the first private company to take over an NHS hospital. As Liberal Conspiracy reported, “two of Circle’s major shareholders are Tory Party donors”. None of the above was ever disclosed by the Beeb, which continued portraying Reform and Seddon as disinterested experts. “

[My emphasis.]


One thought on “The BBC And The NHS

  1. sgediting 22/10/2012 / 21:17

    If I may, I would only add that entirely the same arguments can be made regarding the reckless changes in funding for higher education. In particular, BBC coverage – along with almost all coverage elsewhere – focused on student fees alone and did not really explain the impact of withdrawing the teaching grant. The main difference in response is mainly that HE has less mass support.

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