Wednesday, 29 April 2015

MK achieves only tokenistic coverage on BBC television

Watching the BBC tonight, I am getting increasingly angry about the way that Mebyon Kernow is being treated in this election by the mainstream television media.

It is true that the BBC featured a short piece about MK on its Monday night programme. A recorded piece, it was much shorter than the “in the spotlight” interviews with representatives of each of the “five largest parties” as they described them.

Tonight, Spotlight also featured a constituency profile for the Camborne and Redruth constituency. Only four of the six candidates – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP – were interviewed.

And then, there was the BBC Spotlight Election Special which featured representatives of the Conservative Party, Greens, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP on the panel. I have covered in previous blog posts about how MK was excluded from the panel and how the BBC decided to film a short recorded statement to be broadcast during the programme. We were also told that it would highly likely that the MK representative in the audience would be “featured during the recording.”

In discussions with the head of BBC South West, I was given the impression that the MK representative would be allowed to ask a question. This did not happen, though Andrew Long did get to make one short comment about housing.

I have been told by the BBC that they seek to “ensure that the views of political parties are reported in a balanced and proportionate way.”

The coverage of MK has certainly not been balanced or proportionate, but insultingly tokenistic.

To be balanced myself, I can report that following representations I have made to ITV about their lack of coverage of Mebyon Kernow, I have yet to receive a response.

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