BBC caught ripping-off local newspaper

Mick Meaney, RINF News |

Image credit: Flickr / kylezoa

Fabricated footage, news fixing, headline theft and product placement are just some of the underhanded tactics the BBC are using right now to manipulate and control viewers.

This week a newspaper editor has lashed out at the BBC for allegedly stealing news reports from her paper – without proper attribution.

In a meeting with Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, editor in chief of  the Reading Chronicle, Sally Stevens, slammed BBC radio for reading headlines directly from her newspaper without crediting the source.

In a report on the Reading Chronicle website, she claimed “radio presenters can read a page lead out every day masquerading as its own news bulletin”.

It’s not the first time the BBC has been caught out using unethical behaviour.

Last month the BBC was found guilty of breaching editorial guidelines by making excessive payments to Labour MP Diane Abbott for her appearance on the BBC 1 political discussion show, This Week, totaling £6,700 in fees.

BBC guidelines state that MPs should not be paid for appearances when they are “speaking as a member of their party or expressing political views”.

In February 2012 the Independent revealed the corporation was “news-fixing” and had to issue a global apology for breaking editorial rules, when it “broadcast documentaries made by a London TV company that was earning millions of pounds from PR clients which it featured in its programming.”

An investigation by The BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee also discovered 15 breaches of editorial guidelines by BBC World News.

And it doesn’t end there.

With the taxpayer being forced to pay £3.6bn in licence fees each year, the BBC is the last place you would expect to find product placement adverts.

However in 2011 viewers accused the broadcaster of advertising Berghaus jackets. Several high profile presenters were seen prominently displaying the company’s logo on air.

It then emerged that BBC staff receive a 45% discount on Berghaus jackets.

Of course the company denies that any sponsorship deal exists, stating: “Over the years, BBC reporters have chosen to buy Berghaus products for use while working outdoors. Of course, we are pleased that correspondents, camera operators and others working in the media choose our kit, but to be clear, there is no sponsorship agreement.”

According to The Telegraph, MPs have labeled it as “advertising by the back door”.

In 2010 RINF discovered the BBC had spent almost £2 million of licence payers money on web advertising, including paying search engines such as Google to display links to the BBC website on search results pages, above natural results.

The corporation has also been in the spotlight for deceiving viewers.

In 2008, the BBC was accused of deliberately falsifying undercover footage of a Primark workshop in Bangalore, India, which again forced The BBC Trust to apologise.

This time for using fake images of child labour in its Panorama programme.

A Primark spokesman said:  “Millions of people have been deceived by Panorama. Viewers who watched the programme, shoppers who were then fed the lie, sourcing experts who believed the lie, teachers and pupils who viewed the programme in lessons, have all been badly let down” and the programme “relied on fabricated footage to air a programme otherwise based on prejudice.”

Is this really the kind of journalism you expect from the BBC, especially when you’re forced to pay a mandatory license fee regardless if you consume their programmes or not?