Research carried out by the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies claims to have proved that the BBC has a left-wing bias.
The 'Bias at the BBC' report, due out next month, will claim that its coverage of think tank research is politically skewed. It says that the BBC covers seven out of 10 think tank-based stories which appear in the left-wing Guardian but only three out of 10 of such stories covered by the right-wing Daily Telegraph. It is also said to show that, when reporting on research by left-wing think tanks, the BBC is less likely to include a health warning about political bias.
Report author Oliver Latham wrote in the Sunday Times yesterday: “The coverage that a new idea from a think tank receives from The Guardian is a much stronger predictor of how much coverage it will receive on the BBC website than is its coverage in The Daily Telegraph.
“The result of this analysis is stark: of the left-of-centre think tanks we look at — the Social Market Foundation, Demos, the New Economics Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research — only one (the Institute for Public Policy Research) received a health warning more than 10 per cent of the time and another (the Social Market Foundation) never received one.
“In contrast, of the five right-of-centre think tanks in our sample — the Centre for Social Justice, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies, Policy Exchange and the Adam Smith Institute — the lowest proportion of health warnings was about 25 per cent and the highest was above 60 per cent.
“In other words, the BBC seems to treat right-of-centre views as being more ‘extreme’ and in need of caveats than roughly equivalent left-of-centre views.”
A BBC spokesman told Daily Mail: "BBC News is required to provide impartial and independent coverage, reporting on a range of views. It is policed by the BBC Trust, its editorial guidelines and its audiences. We have yet to see the report."