Ask the BBC why it didn’t cover the anti-austerity demo – here’s what you can expect!

This is what happened when a friend of Vox Political, going by the monicker Sick Britain, contacted the BBC to ask why there has been no coverage of today’s (June 21) anti-austerity demonstration in London, which was attended by more than 50,000 people.

The BBC has mentioned the demonstration – as a pretext for a discussion of government austerity policies on Any Questions and Any Answers (both on Radio 4) but the national public service broadcaster’s news bulletins were mysteriously silent about it throughout the day of the event itself.

This seems particularly odd when one considers the fact that the demo began outside Broadcasting House, and that I’m told extra security guards were on duty today, while the entrances were protected with metal fencing.

Some of you may wish to complain to the BBC about its lack of coverage. Here’s how you can do it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

For more coverage (and photos) see: Austerity Protest in London (June 21st 2014)

ADDITIONAL – 11.17am, June 22: It seems the BBC has finally given in to pressure and published a report. Don’t get your hopes up too high! It arrived on the website at around 10.37am and may be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-27962963

My opinion is that this is an insult.

For more information on the impact of austerity that is being hidden from the public, take a look at Cumulative effect of welfare reform revealed – deprived areas hit much harder than the rich

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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138 thoughts on “Ask the BBC why it didn’t cover the anti-austerity demo – here’s what you can expect!

  1. Ulysses

    I await their reply:

    Your Complaint
    Type of complaint:
    BBC News (TV Radio and website)
    What is your complaint about:
    General News
    Complaint category:
    Not enough coverage
    Contacted us before:
    No
    Complaint title:
    todays anti austerity protest 21/6/14
    Complaint description:
    Why has there been next to zero tv news coverage of today’s anti- austerity protests in London on the 21st of June, even though the protest started outside your own premises and you increased the presence of your security personnel, and erected steel barriers in response- You could hardly say that you were unaware of today’s event? This smacks of Soviet era media tactics, wouldn’t you think?

    1. jim ross

      Great e-mail sent. I have sent exactly the same hoping to get a reply from them (hoping!). Good luck!!

      1. John Laybourn

        Me too! I’ve sent this:-

        Clearly the BBC does not consider the public’s hatred of the Government’s austerity policy to be important. It is alleged that 50,000 people demonstrated on June 21st outside Broadcasting House and the BBC felt it necessary to increase security and erect metal barriers. This is surely newsworthy; arguably more newsworthy that the regular assembly of 50,000 people at Stamford Bridge (for example) watching 22 unworthy young millionaires kicking a ball around a patch of grass for 90 minutes.

        On a more serious note, people in this country today view the subject of austerity and the suffering it is causing to millions of people as far more worthy of air time than the fatuous rubbish in the gutter press concerning the degree of weirdness of the leader of the Labour Party. How many wasted hours of this anti-Labour bilge have listeners and viewers had to put up with on programmes like Today, WATO and PM? How many hungry mouths are being fed by this lazy recycling of tabloid nonsense? I would suggest NONE! People like me and my family and friends, who are genuinely concerned about the suffering being caused by needless Coalition austerity, are regularly taking food to food banks to try to help in some small way. We are forced to support the BBC through our licence fee. I therefore feel we have a right to demand more balanced coverage of important issues and events.

        Austerity, inflicted in a multitude of ways, by Bullingdon Boys in government should be being exposed for what it is!

  2. uppitymonkey

    Reblogged this on uppitymonkey and commented:
    Had to reblog this one. This afternoon I checked on the BBC site and saw news stories about the US setting up a bee task force and about people marking the summer solstice, but nothing on a march in London. It is getting to the point where you just can’t ignore or defend what the BBC is doing.

  3. Nick

    if the bbc had broadcast the austerity protests it wouldn’t change anything

    IDS has laid out his plans which are crystal clear and even thou their criminally wrong which is to stress sick and disabled people to their death he has always said that he will continue

    IDS can do whatever he wishes with welfare reform the only thing he cant do under UN law and that’s to terminate the lives of others but he has in a roundabout way which i believe is within the law in the uk ?

    he has found a loophole in the law and has a formula that enables him to kill people by stressing them and he’s found it to be effectively working

    so far he has got away with it and today’s austerity protests wont stop him nor will the bbc so in reality the bbc might as well stay out of it

    IDS has been getting away unchallenged with theses deaths for 4 years and only the people can change that not the bbc

    my personal feeling is that he will not stop till the bitter end and how it will pan out remains to be seen but you can be sure the bbc wont be intervening

    1. Mike Sivier

      If the BBC had reported the austerity demonstration it might have changed viewers’ minds. Giving a chance for the leaders and participants to explain their reasons for travelling to London and carrying out a mass event, on national news, would have allowed viewers and listeners on the radio to hear a different point of view from the usual government propaganda, and that can never be bad.
      Iain Duncan Smith’s plans affect benefit claimants, but that is just a small part of the austerity that prompted people to take part in the demo yesterday. Austerity affects all of us except the very rich people who have been receiving the money that has been taken away from the rest of us.
      Also, Iain Duncan Smith has not gone unchallenged for the last four years, as reported in blogs like this one and also – surprise, surprise – in the mass media.

      1. Nick

        IDS is winning his augment and wont back down
        he has realised that by stressing people to their limit so they kill themselves he can get away with that thinking

        and that’s what he’s going to do as the press and the blogs aren’t effecting him where he lives and is still top dog

        you will need at least 150000 people in a protest for the bbc to take note and even then they only like to report like in overseas conflicts violence

  4. cedawnow

    Well I’m glad I’m not the only one trying to get answers out of the BBC I complained to them about Question Time and the fact that despite having the Sec of State for Work and Pensions IDS there were no welfare questions asked,

    The response was basically audience members select, we’ve discussed Welfare issues a lot and nothing else about if I was not happy withe the response what I could do.

    I then tried going at it from a different direction and sent in a FOI request which was can you please let me know what questions did the audience want to ask the panel and for clarification not the questions that did get asked but rather what questions would they have liked to ask but for the fact that ther were not seliected by QT.

    They got back to me within 24 hours saying that they didn’t have to answer this question as it was outside of the remit and in this case have decided not to answer. Leading me to believe that they could have answered the question but decided not to.

    I think it is really important that everybody pursues the BBC after all they are the public broadcasting body which has a duty as part of it’s charter to act impartially.

    I think we all know that that isn’t the case and hasn’t been for quite a long time now. But as they recieve public funding through forced payment of the licence fee I think that they should have a duty to respond to veiwers and listeners alike. So lets keep on pushing, I will send my complaint in regarding the non coverage of the Demo tomorrow, but right now after a very long day I have to crash and fight the fight tomorrow.

  5. Methusalada

    Mike, I think you may have found your real talent /gift as an investigative journalist for the people. I posted my personal take on this on Jules Clarkes blog .
    Warmest regards
    M

  6. Samwise Gamgee

    Believe it or not there are some who are convinced the BBC has an anti-Tory bias. The “Biased BBC” website is full of conspiratorial cranks (to be kind) who think the BBC is the “broadcasting arm of the Labour Party”.

    Here’s a typical thread, for your amusement. Spot my comment towards the end – I linked to your and Tom Pride’s coverage of the BBC’s failure to cover the anti-austerity demos, just to see what happens…

    http://biasedbbc.org/blog/2014/06/21/stop-complaining-and-do-something/

    1. nanashi

      That’s parroted by useful tools, and probably home-grown spam from the BBC employess (and bot posts) themselves. They want this mentality that we have a left and right system. Fact is, labour is right. Tory is far right.

      There is no left representation (eg; green party coverage during the euro elections is a great example). As long as people continue to assume that labour represents left wing interests, people will not know any better if all they do is watch the telescreen.

      The BBC are good at three things. And they do it well. Distract, Decept, and Decieve.

      What we need is unity. No left, no right. Just human morality and compassion for each other. Sadly, we live in a post-capitalist world where just about every nation is expected to protect the rich, and punish the poor.

      1. Mike Sivier

        That’s just two things, really. I don’t think ‘decept’ is a real word and, if it is, it’s rooted in ‘deception’, which is an attempt to deceive.

        Your comments about what is left-wing or right-wing are noted and, whatever readers may think about the way you express your opinions, it is certainly true that there is a debate going on at the moment about Labour’s current position on the political spectrum.

    2. jaypot2012

      What a load of b/s from such a load of idiots on that bbc blog! Never heard such a ridiculous load of tripe and shows just how many idiots see only what the blinkers allow them.

  7. Jeff Black

    8 hours ago, I asked the BBC why this march wasn’t covered on their Points of View messageboard. It’s still ‘hidden’. They can shove their license fee.

  8. Tony Gaughan

    I’d say that Labour are far right , Tory further right and Lib Dems Lickspittle right !

  9. Barney

    It was the weekend, there’s not as many news teams about. These marches/demos are common. There’s been little coverage – big deal. No conspiracy, just run of the mill reasons.

    What I do detest, is what is effectively facistic tactics of trying to pressure an independent, impartial broadcaster – so that it will comply with your cause. I think that is wrong.

      1. A Darwin

        An eloquent, mature and all round very insightful response. I can see now how you respond to to any dissenting opinions, no matter how reasonably stated.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I don’t think so.
        If you had bothered to look at the rest of the comment column, you would have seen how I respond to dissenting opinions, reasonably stated.
        You may also see how I respond to dissenting opinions, unreasonably stated, and to people who repeat such unreasonable opinions even after a reasonable response has been posted.
        Go on, take a look around. Try not to be affected by confirmation bias if you see something that seems to conform with your opinion. Try to form an unbiased opinion.
        Then have a think about whether your sarcasm was justified.

    1. Ian Duncan

      Are you ever naive… Remember the anti NHS privatisation demo in Manchester that didn’t get reported even though it was *right outside* the Tory party conference? You’d think that would be newsworthy, no? Especially considering there was 60,000 protesters.

      But no. Silence.

    2. Kwekwe326

      I don’t think you should assume that the line going dead was to do with some “Ministry of Truth” theory and nor is it likely that the receptionist who put you through passed on your complaint or that anyone heard it. Sounds like there was nobody there to pick up the phone as in many offices. Also, I suspect that the lack of coverage was more to do with the massive crises in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine as well as, like it or not, the Word Cup. On a slow news day, the march might have got a look in: but there are bigger things afoot right now.

      1. Tom Irwell

        What coverage has there been in Ukraine? the BBC has reported nothing of the mass-evacuation of women & children into Russia to escape the shelling of their villages. If a Ukrainian soldier is killed they’ll report it. But nothing at all is reported concerning the killing of civilians. If the BBC can send teams to interview Iraqi Army personnel & find anti-Assad civilians in bombed areas of Damascus, why can’t it cover a huge public event on its’ own doorstep? I can’t help but think that the authorities in the UK would prefer us to be uninformed & docile. Easier to govern then, I suppose.

      2. Ian Duncan

        As Mike said, Kwekwe; nonsense. As I pointed out just up there, ^^^ the BBC blatantly ignored the NHS demo – 60,000 people strong – when it was *right outside* the Conservative party conference. Also, yesterdays demo was never mentioned on BBC News 24 and they have to constantly find news stories or risk too much repetition. Last night something about a fire made the news, that cannot be more of a news priority than the demo, not in any objective standard and certainly not taken together with all the other anti austerity events and IDS f***-ups that are going on.

      3. Kwekwe326

        Simply writing “nonsense” below is not the most dazzling refutation. It would have been simple for “Sick Britain” to test whether the dead line was indicative of bias or not by making another call on an unrelated topic. He didn’t think of that, did he?

    3. Tom Irwell

      So the BBC, despite it being the weekend, were still able to pursue a single Scotsman who happened to be cheering for Uruguay. But 50, 000 people on the streets of London, embarking from the front of BBC HQ, somehow went under the radar? Either you are here to cast aspersions on understandable & valid criticisms of the BBC, or you don’t get out much. I’d opt for the former. Incidentally, which ‘bigger things’ are you referring to ? Kate n’ Wills’ new yacht? the World Cup??

      1. Kwekwe326

        A few points there: the BBC is not obliged to report an event simply because it takes place under its own windows – don’t be silly. Second, I don’t know why the beeb didn’t report this more, but then, if I were a druid, I would be feeling a bit ignored too, as the Solstice, which got a similar turnout, got scant coverage, too; likewise the Hebron kidnapping story, which is huge here in Israel and seems to Israelis as another example of the BBC’s anti-Israel bias. Oh, and the World Cup? 14 million Brits watched England’s first match – that’s quite big isn’t it?

      2. Mike Sivier

        I’m not going to comment on the Hebron kidnapping story as I don’t know anything about it but, regarding the rest, I think you must be trying to have a laugh.
        The World Cup is sport, and the Solstice got more coverage than the demo.
        Oh, and the BBC isn’t obliged to report an event simply because it takes place under its own windows, but that was never suggested and you are distorting the facts by putting it forward. The BBC is obliged to report an event that is news – and the demo was news.

    4. Kate

      Total nonsense. As weekends have a tendency to be news heavy you will find most media outlets to be well stocked with journalists.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Bring me nonsense and I’ll call it as I see it. There is plenty of reasoned argument elsewhere on this page. It seems to me that you just don’t like having to make your views stand up – possibly because they don’t.

  10. Nina

    Complaint submitted, also asked why this demonstration was not covered and told them that this clearly shows mainstream news channels are being used solely as propaganda purposes and have moved to RT and Aljazeera instead. Be good to compare replies 🙂

    1. Tom Irwell

      Good thing about RT is that it helps you to understand what the UK/US neocons may be up to next. Apparently, the NATO chief has issued a statement trying to pin anti-fracking protests on Putin; that Putin’s agents are working directly with environmental & anti-fracking groups to make sure we stay dependent on Russian gas. The real reason for this demonization of Russia is to pave the way for American, Canadian & French fracking companies to flood the EU with their dirty gas. Greenpeace have already denounced the statement, citing figures which show fracked gas won’t be any cheaper than Russian gas. In the UK, our total ‘dependency’ on Russia for our energy needs amounts to 0.4% of the energy import bill. Hardly a pimps’ bitch are we?

  11. Miles Pilling

    I worked for BBC news. Depending on the time you phoned, cuts at the front line(ie on people who make programmes rather than management) mean many newsrooms are unstaffed at certain times. This could have been why you had no reply. If you actually spoke to an editor at Londons BBC local radio service and they put the phone down, that could be a disciplinary offence. There is an official complaint procedure and all calls have to be responded to, whoever answers. Also, the switchboard operator should not be asking what the news story is! Who was he to decide if it was newsworthy!

    I totally agree that the lack of coverage is a disgrace, but it doesn’t surprise me unfortunately.

    1. Tom Irwell

      At the time of Russia moving to legitimately protect its’ Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea, the BBC found people to send to Sevastopol to report on Russian movements. It’s teams found nothing much, but hung in there hoping to find something dramatic to justify the Russophobia being generated by UK/EU/US. Right now, the Ukrainian Army is shelling villages in Eastern Ukraine, as the Ukraine President talks of fighting ‘terrorists’. There is a civilian evacuation of women & children to Crimea & Russia underway, to escape the bombing. When this happened in Syria, BBC reporters there were aplenty, anxious to pin the blame for the use of WMDs on the then bogey-man, Assad. Where are the BBC reporters now? Russia acts relatively peacefully, BBC paints it as the aggressor. US-backed junta in Kiev shell their own people, BBC totally silent. Oddly, if a Ukrainian soldier is killed, an Army helicopter downed, the BBC seem to be able to report it. I respect the fact that you have an insider view of the machinations of the BBC, but you’ve got to admit that it does at times seem like the BBC are very selective about how & where they report news. And this method of news-coverage lends itself more & more to the idea that the BBC is simply a mouthpiece of NATO/US/UK propagandists seeking total global hegemony.

      1. Lee Clark

        Well done for not swallowing everything you hear from Britain’s nominally independent but not-really-that-independent state broadcaster. But, er…. you seem to be swallowing everything you hear from another state broadcaster, this one funded by a former KGB boss with a long history of suppressing democracy and having troublesome investigative journalists killed. You may want to take a look at that.

  12. jaypot2012

    I’ll be complaining today – what a disgusting corporation, hiding all the demonstrations that have gone on recently.
    I don’t actually watch tv or listen to the radio, but I do see then news articles on the web, and no, I don’t even subscribe to anything bbc related.
    The bbc do not work for the public, they work for the government and for the money men.

  13. Tony Dean

    Does anyone know how we can complain to the Director General of the BBC. (Complain to the engine driver not the oily rag.)

  14. alittleecon

    Reblogged this on alittleecon and commented:
    This demo started at the BBC in London. There must have been a conscious decision made to ignore it. I’ve stuck my complaint in. I await the standard dismissive response.

  15. ghost whistler

    Is this really surprising? THe BBC’s bias is nothing new.

    A couple of weeks ago, when the unemployment figures were last announced, i contacted BBC Bristol about their reportage. Everytime these figures get announced and there’s a drop in the claimant count they never investigate or report what these people, no longer signing on, are doing.

    I got through to someone called Luscy Tegg whom i know to be one of their presenters, so someone important (YMMV) answered. I put the point to her and she told me it was assuemd these people were now in work. When I explained that it would be dishonest to make that assumption and that these people could be in all manner of situations – including work – or even sanctioned off the system altogether with no help, she asked me who i ‘represented: whom I was speaking for.

    I tried to explain that I was just one person trying to make the point and raise the issue that I thought the BBC wasn’t doing it’s duty. But she wasn’t interested and did almost exactly what happened to the gentleman in the clip above. She didn’t hang up, the phone just went silent. I tried to carry on talking and eventually hung up myself.

    in some ways that’s actually worse than if they’d just hung up on me. It’s as if they just put the handset on the table and decided, not to disengage, but to dismiss me and ignore me altogether. That’s the height of hubris IMO.

    But what else can we expect. What’s more important, IMO, is what happens now, after this demo, what actions are planned because a march and a demo alone isn’t going to achieve anything – after all it hasn’t so far.

      1. snoopyslender

        The BBC article reduces the figures to ‘thousands’ and then grudgingly notes that organisers claim it was ‘tens of thousands’. What is wrong with the words ‘fifty’ and ‘seventy’? If the sentence is going to be constructed impartially with the figure being attributed to the organisers then surely ‘50,000’ would be accurate reporting.

    1. elkapan

      Derisory and insulting coverage. They did the same thing with Occupy protest last year, remember? If you listen to the video, you can tell it has been manipulated, the part where there are shouts of “cut back, fight back”, sound has been reduced, to give the impression of a weak gathering. You can tell because the voices sound like children.

  16. Guy Ropes

    Comments regarding left, right etc are passé. There is no longer a political system because each party shows very little difference from the others. This has been demanded and is enforced. The Establishment runs the Country and that is unseen because they like to run the Country that way. It’s perfect (for them). ‘Parties’ are allowed because that gives the illusion that the plebs have some sort of say. The Chilcot enquiry is the prime example. No one at Westminster (as opposed to Whitehall) is in control of this; certainly Cameron isn’t because it’s clear he has been ordered NOT to do anything about it. So who told him not to? You can complain to no one. Bilderburg meetings are information distribution meetings where the pliant, obedient, and well paid are told what they can relate to their supporters. The ’20 year dribble system’ when Hillsborough and the like are revealed in their despicable ignominy, are a required part of the illusion. They have expert production values which ensure that the choreography is impeccable and persuasive, except to the irrelevant few. “WE” are allowed our own system of law which allows pots of money to be incessantly transferred from ‘us’ to ‘them’. “They have their own ‘rules’ which permit them to behave differently ; e.g Lord Rennard, Mike Hancock, the IPCC, Leveson, inquests, local councils. If the promised Euro referendum ever gets to be held, does anyone seriously think that, should it produce a demand for withdrawal, it would ever be implemented? Joke. I wish you luck with the BBC but experience suggests that the shrift you receive will be even shorter than you ever thought possible.

    1. Methusalada

      I like the mindscape of Guy Ropes . It indicates just how far people have to continuously challenge it’s own unelected minority Government . Or totally change it in order for the people to protect themselves. Viva la SNP in September !
      p.s Mike, Do you know how many UK Labour Party ” dignitaries signatories ” attended Bilderberg Conferences in 2010,11.12,13 & 2014 ?

  17. Phill Evans

    For what its worth, here is my email to the ‪#‎bbc‬ ‪#‎newswatch‬ programme:
    Is it not just a little embarrassing to the BBC’s news journalists that Aunty chose to ignore fifty thousand people pointedly marching past its doors in London, today? At what level is a decision made to avoid such coverage? BBC reporters from TV and radio were noticeable by their absence and there is no mention on any of your websites.
    How does such a thorough lack of reporting contribute to the political discussion? The People’s Alliance Against Austerity is in its relative infancy and yet has succesfully motivated groups and individuals from across the country (including the TUC and even a few celebrities) to challenge the assumptions and decisions of Westminster politicians. And yet it is so lacking in news worthiness that the sunrise at Stonehenge is prioritised over it?
    The BBC owes an explanation, and an apology, to the thousands of motivated licence fee payers who came to show you how important their views and British values were today.
    Yours,
    Phillip Evans
    Shrewsbury.
    ‪#‎NoMoreAusterity‬

  18. amnesiaclinic

    Complain to the BBC, complain to your MP as the BBC should be impartial and no reason not to report on this except the government don’t like it and then pull your licence fee. In that way eventually we will get change as so many are using alternative media.

  19. vomsters

    Can’t find anything about it on CNN or NBC news sites either. Are any of the major EU news organisations reporting it? Or is it just AJ & RT – who, let’s face it, will use ANYTHING that they think paints the UK in a bad light (which this really, really does). The response you’ll all get from the BBC will be, almost word for word, the same as the ones people got when objecting to the lack of coverage over the NHS protest marches…

    “Thank you for your email. We have given a great deal of coverage to the current debate about the future of the NHS, including some of the protests that
    have taken place. However, we do not have the resources to cover every protest about the same issue. Comparisons cannot be made with events in other
    countries [I believe I asked whether a US celebrity being arrested in teh US for drinks/drugs was a more important event to give the airtime to], as it is a question of what facilities are available in the UK. We note that this event received little coverage elsewhere in the national media [so, that’s ok then, if nobody else is covering it, the BBC don’t have to either] – the Guardian had two paragraphs reporting a demonstration involving 150-200 people.

    We aim to add context and depth to our coverage, and simply reporting protests is not always the best way to achieve that. Furthermore, the BBC must
    remain impartial in this, and any other, debate, and we need to take care not to spend too much of our time focusing on just one side of the argument.
    It is not our function to show solidarity with any side.

    However, we can assure you, however, that we are not ignoring the central arguments or the opposition to the proposals, and have carried several reports
    in just the past week alone.”

    I have not been “Proud of the BBC” for a few years now.

  20. Norma Roberts

    Could it have anything to do with IBS getting his, taxpayer funded, underwear in a twist about the BBC report regarding the chaos of his disability benefit reforms? It was one of their lead stories on Friday.

    The day after the BBC report, IBS was in the Daily Mail (quickly disinfects keyboard) spouting the BBC were more against welfare reform than Labour with their negative (on this occasion, truthful) coverage. He then “threw his toys out of the pram” complaining that the BBC had not even mentioned that thousands more had been transferred to universal credit recently! Aww, diddums!

  21. Pingback: People’s Assembly Against Austerity March

  22. stewilko

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    Disgusting, and they are supposedly to be impartial. Same may be said to all the other news companies. I guess we live in a contry where news to newsworthy it should be controlled by those with the power. I have always believed this to be true. Although over the past four or more years have witnessed the true depths of how low some political parties will go to gain, keep or just blatantly lie to keep power. I listen to the BBC continously, radio 4, 5 and TV channels One and news 24. Radio 4 I believe to be the worst culprit of biased reporting. My partner constantly screaming at me to calm down as I scream and wave my hands at the radio. The vile and continual misrepresentation of any thing Labour, Miliband or even worse cuts to Welfare. Am i wrong but wasn’t the media in this country under review sometime a go. Didn’t they, under the phone hacking (was it phone hacking) were owners of the big media groups came inder fire. Same could be said for law and powers of policing laws (kettling springs to mindl, and the lawful right to protest. Which I do believe every single individual has the right to do so. Although, with sweeping changes over the past twenty or so years that I have witnesse. Not only to protesting, by way of terrorism. But the ways and methods it can be transmitted and visulised to the masses. Even the use of a pocket camera are scrutinised and under certain powers controlled. We are constantly watched by way of cctv. Also with the constent evolving powers of policing. Over the past forty years of my life, I watched, and even went to London for the “Pole Tax” riots. Sat and watched the events unfolding concerning the miners strikes. I could go on and on, even up to the more recent so called “riots” a few years past. The media, more so the BBC played its part in the carnivalesque of protest

    1. amnesiaclinic

      You are spot on! You might find it interesting to read David Icke’s latest book called the Perception Deception as he has been writing about this and joining the dots for the last 25 years.
      Find out for yourself and don’t take the media’s rubbishing of his message.

  23. Pingback: Ask the BBC why it didn’t cover the anti-austerity demo – here’s what you can expect! | stewilko's Blog

  24. Jim

    The BBC’s behaviour doesn’t surprise anyone in Scotland that may be waiting for anything other than Westminster lies and scaremongering regarding the referendum on Independence. The BBC – including BBC Scotland – cannot claim to be anything other than the propaganda arm of the state.

  25. ian forde

    Im glad people are waking up to the bbc lies propaganda mechine if they know we are awake to thier agenda and if we all boycot the bbc they will have to change attitude towards the way they report tge.news

  26. Jo Slee

    Complaint I submitted to the BC today about “lack of coverage of the 50K anti-austerity demo: The BBC now has a painful reputation for being completely out of touch news and current affairs-wise with how people in the UK feel. Controlled by Tories? Gagged by Parliament? I and many friends watch RT News to find out what’s happening here in the UK. I could list 20 topics which are of vital importance and interest to UK citizens never even touched on by the BBC. eg: TTiP/TAFTA, stealth privatisation of NHS and prison services, financial deregulation (the growth of fraud and the toxic debt mountain) in the City of London, loss of civil rights via new social control legislation, what most people now know about fracking (evidence), corruption in Parliament, demonisation of the poor rather than coverage of how wealth is being leached out of the economy by corporations and banks. I could go on. I understand that Alastair Campbell did huge damage with his ‘Gilligan’ spin, and I think it’s ridiculous that the head of the BBC has to resign every time some report gets too close to the truth (unlike anyone in Parliament apparently), but without courageous media coverage we are just sleepwalking to the destruction of society and the planet. What use will those ‘popular interest’ stories about twins or ageing rock stars be then?”

  27. Kathryn

    I have submitted a complaint and am sharing it widely in the hope that others will do the same. Shameful. Here’s what I sent:

    I would like to complain about the gross lack of coverage by BBC News of the People’s Assembly demonstration in London yesterday. I notice that earlier today (Sunday 22 June), an extremely brief article appeared on the BBC News website, but this, quite frankly, is an insult to the tens of thousands of people who took part in the demonstration, not to mention the significant number of others in the UK (myself included) who think this was a significant and important event. Does around 50,000 people marching on Westminster not deserve news coverage? I believe it does – and so do other news channels around the world. Why not the BBC? The lack of coverage by BBC News of the demonstration leads me to think there must be a severe bias in news reporting in the BBC. In my opinion, the lack of coverage of the People’s Assembly demonstration by the UK media, and not least the BBC, is effectively tantamount to censorship. I look forward to receiving an explanation.

  28. Tim Frost

    The reason they didn’t cover it is simple: most people don’t give a hoot. How about a march next weekend for how the Labour party f****d this country to begin with leading to these austerity measures? How about the war Blair got us into that costs us £30 Billion pounds a year? How about the ramifications of which we will start feeling when the radicalised youths currently in Syria come back to their ‘country’? Wake up you p***k.

    1. Mike Sivier

      This’ll be a Tory troll then.
      There was another one, earlier on today, with the same rubbish arguments: “Labour mismanaged the country making austerity necessary” – no, Labour didn’t; “Blair got us into an expensive war” – the Tories would have done the same, and have been trying to get us into expensive wars since coming into office in 2010.
      Plus, of course, the big howler is the claim that most people don’t care. This is what Tories want people to believe but it is clearly untrue.
      It takes a lot to get people out of their armchairs and complaining about the behaviour of our national institutions, yet the reaction to the BBC’s non-coverage of this event has been enormous.
      The BBC has messed up badly.
      The Tories are messing up badly in their efforts to contain that mess.
      And the people won’t forget.

  29. Loudat (@Loudatblog)

    Whoever thought Peoples Assembly could maximise coverage by starting a march outside a broadcast centre is a complete dunce.
    Engage your brains for just a moment.

    If the BBC had given air time to a protest that was planned to start outside Broadcasting House you can guarantee every future protest will follow suit in the hope of racking up coverage.

    With the cost of policing the area, the disruption to Regent Street and additional security overheads and clean up caused by the march why WOULD the BBC cover it?

    Move the next march to SKY or ITV head quarters and you can be sure that they won’t cover it either because having a huge march outside your building is a massive problem and huge expense.

    If the march had started somewhere else they likely would have covered it.
    It’s not a conspiracy it’s just a huge PR disasterl by People’s Assembly.

    1. Mike Sivier

      But Sky and ITV didn’t cover it anyway, which makes a nonsense of your theory.
      You are not applying newsgathering sense to this matter. It does not matter where the demonstration started; in fact, for all I know, it was a complete coincidence that it started outside BBC HQ.
      What matters is that it was taking place at all.

      1. NewsMutt

        What matters is that a fair few people on here are subscribing to the conspiracy theory that the Government (of whichever colour) is manipulating the BBC News agenda. Perhaps you missed the excellent expose the other night on the collapse of the “fit for work” programme – introduced by Labour and continued by the Conservatives – presided over by the woeful actions of ATOS. No? Well it was pretty much all over the 6 and the 10. It’s quite simple, demos happen in Central London all the time. Some small, some bigger. All broadcasters allocate crews on the day, depending on other events. The organisers of this demo chose an already busy day. That’s the truth. No conspiracy.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I’m not going to go through all the arguments again. You’re entitled to your opinion. So are the many, many people who have complained about the BBC’s lack of coverage and the failure of its news sense on this occasion.

  30. simonnicol

    No wonder the powers that be want to control the Internet as well. They can’t just have anyone reporting the truth. Goodness.

  31. scoppied

    Hmm. Yeah, they didn’t “cut him off”, they just just didn’t pick up the phone. Not very professional of a newsdesk I’ll grant you, but actually more typical of a frantically busy national news room than people may think, especially on a Saturday when they’re short-staffed. For him to believe the call was flagged for its content is ludicrous conspiracy-theory rubbish. As anyone who’s ever worked on a switchboard knows, the receptionist would not have been able to contact the newsdesk to say “this guy is asking awkward questions!” – he simply put the call through, it rang (it was not on hold, you could hear the rings) and after a while was automatically cut off. As a professional press officer and qualified journalist the only advice I have for anyone trying to ask a question of a journalist is, don’t give up so easily. Most of the time they will want to tell your story as much as you do.

      1. Nick

        this is the main problem mike a few guys whose parents only ever talked money and privileged when they were growing up

        http://www.sxolsout.org.uk/75_files/image004.jpg

        they were radicalised for sure and like all people radicalised it’s always for the worse

        they don’t even know it but when it happens to a Muslim they then see it as it reminds of themselves and wont it stamped out

        the reason for stamping it out is they wont to remain top dog and they don’t like anyone who is not part of the clan

        just because there conservative that does not mean they like there fellow friends as mp’s because they don’t they just like they do everybody else and that tolerate them

      2. Kwekwe326

        Are you really trying to argue that the receptionist tipped off the BBC London news desk that there was someone wanting to ask uncomfortable questions and that they shouldn’t pick up the phone? Can you at least consider the possibility that the phone was not picked up because the news desk was under-staffed or overworked or simply that nobody could be arsed?

      3. Mike Sivier

        I have no reason to consider the possibilities you raise as there is no evidence available to suggest any of those reasons.
        Nor do I have any reason to suggest anything about the receptionist.
        That being said, don’t you find it even slightly odd that this person received the same treatment, not just once, but on two separate occasions?
        I do.
        Don’t you find it odd that the receptionist asked what the call was about (it’s none of the receptionist’s business)?
        I do.
        Also, don’t you find it odd that nobody was available to answer a call to the BBC’s newsgathering headquarters on a weekend where there were likely to be more people working – not less, as you have asserted – as we have heard from other commenters?
        I do.

      4. Kwekwe326

        Neither is there any hard evidence for the possibility proposed in the video, so why consider that?

        Just because we find something odd, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is sinister.

        It would be odd indeed if complaints about this topic were ignored whilst those on other topics were answered: but we don’t know that and this wasn’t tested.
        I don’t find it odd that the receptionist asks the nature of the question: his task is to direct the caller to the relevant department.
        I do find it odd that no-one picked up the call. If the BBC gives out a complaints number then someone should answer it, clearly. I never asserted that the BBC was short staffed at weekends – that was someone else, but again, we just don’t know.

        The “sinister” version may be attractive in that it reinforces your world view: but it doesn’t really stack up, I am afraid

      5. Mike Sivier

        If the receptionist’s task is to direct the caller to the relevant department, then once the caller asked for news editorial, he should have been put through – the receptionist should not have asked “What’s the call regarding, then?”

        In any case, we are told that in the first instance, the caller got through to an editor, posed the question, and then had the phone slammed down on him, which isn’t the same as having nobody pick up the call at all.

        You did assert that “the news desk was under-staffed or overworked or simply that nobody could be arsed” – none of which are good reasons for failing to answer a call.

        Think about it – if they didn’t know what the call was, it might have been breaking news that could have re-ordered the entire BBC News output for the day. That has happened to me many times during my career – something came in, out of the blue, that changed all our priorities for the day. In such a situation, reporters always answer the phone quickly. In one former office, we used to compete to be the first to respond, in the hope that each call could be our next lead item. Here, the receptionist wants to know what the call is about and it then goes unanswered. I believe it is reasonable to find that suspicious.

        It is your version of events that doesn’t stack up.

      6. Kwekwe326

        My version is that, whilst I don’t rule out the conspiracy theory, there are other plausible possibilities, including simple cock-ups, a scenario not unknown at the beeb. If, as you say, my version doesn’t stack up, you would have to be able to show that the sinister version is the only possibility. Using words like “odd” and “suspicious” won’t do, even accompanied by creepy background music…

      7. Mike Sivier

        I have no personal interest in this, other than that of every British TV licence payer – to have a news service that is impartial, rather than a mouthpiece for politicians, and to have value for money.

        Since you are now reduced to making personal comments about me (albeit in Latin), I think we should draw this dialogue to a close.

      8. Kwekwe326

        There was no personal slight in the dictum; it simply means that one cannot declare oneself winner (“job done”) in a debate in which one is a participant

      9. Mike Sivier

        Then I misconstrued your meaning. However, I stand by my “job done” claim. You have no meaningful argument. I’ll leave it to other readers to judge whether I’m right.
        And now this conversation really is over.

  32. Pingback: Fucking Murdering Bastards | Gabriel Vents

  33. hilary772013

    My contribution below:-

    YOUR COMPLAINT:

    Complaint Summary: BBC’s lack of coverage

    Full Complaint: I am writing as a TV License Payer & am incensed by the lack of coverage by the BBC of the 50,000 strong demonstration that took place in London yesterday. I think it is appalling that a once respected organisation like the BBC should fail to cover such an important event and proves to me that the BBC is not FAIR in it’s coverage of the welfare cuts and is PRO Conservative values. As I and thousands upon thousands of others are forced to pay your wages I would like the BBC to go back to what it stood for in the past and that means unbiased reporting. I would also like an explanation as to why the BBC did not feel coverage of such an important event was warranted?
    If I had the option I would not pay for your miserable News Channels but seeing that I am forced to do so, would like fair reporting from the BBC from now on, what has happened to the BBC as it was once respected all over the world for it’s unbiased reporting?

  34. boycameraLloyd Farrell

    Type of complaint:
    BBC News (TV Radio and website)

    What is your complaint about:
    General News

    Complaint category:
    Bias

    Contacted us before:
    No

    Complaint title:
    50,000 Strong Austerity Protest

    Complaint description:
    Tens of thousands of protesters commence demonstrations outside of your headquarters, you draft in extra security personnel and Heras fence your premises and all I got was a lousy 3 sentence article?

    Although RT, Al Jazeera and the Guardian are all able to report in length about this event you’re almost entirely incapable even with strategic advantage of prior knowledge of it’s happening and it being on your very doorstep.

    The two questions I would like answered are as follows:

    If you commenced preparations to secure yourself from this event, why did you not prepare to report it?

    Is it the belief of the BBC that this is not in the interest of the public?

  35. Pingback: Ask the BBC why it didn’t cover the anti-austerity demo – here’s what you can expect! | The Bouncing Spoon

  36. The Gardener

    Having worked as a TV reporter for almost 8 years I can only say that watching “news” and most of the stuff broadcasted by any nationally accredited TV channel is a waste of time. Public opinion will never change anything. People will. It matters not what’s being broadcasted really, because as long as we are watching it on TV we are really NOT living out our lives. Planting a single tree will do more good to the planet than a whole life time spent watching “the latest news”, which by the way are cleverly manufactured into believable and sell-able stories that have nothing to do with the true state of things.

    Haven’t watched TV for over 15 years now and my life is infinitely richer than back in the times when I did. 😀

    Any of you people care to wake up to your real life?

  37. NewsMutt

    Back to the “receptionist”, if you really were a newspaper editor for so many years, you’d know there is no such department as “news editorial”. Did you want, for instance, the BBC London newsroom (the local station whose newsroom may not have more than one duty bulletin editor on at weekends)? Did you want the national
    TV Newsdesk, or someone in network radio? All three are distinctively different departments. Surely as a journalist you might have been able to find a direct dial number to the newsroom, or used your contacts to find one? Sounds to me like you called the main BBC switchboard, naively expected to be put through to the top man, and got a bit upset when nobody answered.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Did you not watch the video clip?
      Firstly, I’m not the person who made the call or the clip, so please do not attribute any part of it to me.
      Secondly, the gentleman from ‘Sick Britain’ makes it clear that he called the BBC London newsroom and spoke to an editor previously – who terminated the call midway through the conversation.
      Thirdly he makes it clear that he’s calling News 24 on this occasion, to see if he can do any better. Now, it could be that the News 24 number puts you through to a general switchboard – I don’t know – but if that’s the case then the problem lies with the BBC for encouraging people to believe the number they dial will take them through to the people they want.
      It’s entirely possible that I would have got a different result but it is much more valuable to see the treatment dished out to a member of the general public.

      Oh, and this is interesting. Listening to it again, it seems to me that the switchboard operator says something about having to “announce” the Sick Britain call. It seems to me that this may explain very well the reason it wasn’t picked up.

      1. NewsMutt

        He makes it clear before the call, but then asks for “News Editorial” (at least that’s what I heard). As for “announcing” a call a collective tannoy type system is sometimes used. But generally the operator doesn’t give huge amounts of detail. And perhaps, just perhaps, that section of the newsroom was unstaffed at the time the call was put through. All entirely possible.

  38. Mark Hobbit Rains

    Just like to say as a non TV viewer, reading all these posts was the best entertainment I’ve had in a long time. You all be good, shall be checking for any more fall outs. 🙂

  39. Hugh Walter

    I too complained;

    Your failure to report the Anti-Austerity marches yesterday (Saturday 21st June 2014) constitutes bias, of a political nature in contravention of your charter/charter marks; in that by not reporting a clear ‘news story’ from the political left, while reporting fully all of David Cameron’s speeches in the previous few days (including his Mansion House delivery), a man who can be considered to be from the right, you displayed bias. That bias can equally be seen if the measure is People (50.000 marchers?) vs. elite/Mansion House sitters (a few hundred?), or capital vs. anti-capital &etc…To not cover it at all on Radio4 was particularly galling, but the buzz today suggests people from all walks of life, using all sorts of BBC platforms have noticed the same ‘blackout’ on the story. Have you been ordered not to comment by the current administration or one of its agents? Are you working a news blackout with the rest of the media on this story and if so why? This is a formal complaint which will be taken higher.

    I will take it to the watchdog as soon as I get the standard answer they are going to produce for the complaints they have received.

    I’ve also added my bit to the six line Facebook post….but you see the government (for ‘government’ read elite or ruling-class) love Facebook…you can get something quite important off your chest or into the Public Domain…GCHQ (HI guys, stick this in my file!) will take note if needed, a couple of your like-minded mates ‘like’ it and by teatime it’s disappeared off the bottom of the page to join a billion cats in hats and Miley Cyrus tit-jobs…the Romans used bread and circuses!

  40. forcemajeure007

    I too have made a complaint to BBC I said the following:

    I was shocked and offended that there was absolutely no coverage regarding the NO MORE AUSTERITY march in London on 21st June 2014. Why didn’t the BBC cover this LIVE as it was happening.

    The BBC has only mentioned the demonstration – as a pretext for a discussion of government austerity policies on Any Questions, and Any Answers (both on Radio 4) but your national public service broadcaster’s news bulletins were mysteriously silent about it throughout the day of the event itself.

    This seems particularly odd when one considers the fact that the demo began outside Broadcasting House, and that I’m told extra security guards were on duty that day, while the entrances were protected with metal fencing.

    Russia Today news channel did however cover this hugely important event, which you can see for yourself here at: http://rt.com/news/167532-uk-anti-austerity-march/

    How is it that a foreign news channel can cover British news yet a British news channel didn’t…..?

  41. prayerwarriorpsychicnot

    The reason why the austerity arguments don’t wash is because our leaders exempt themselves. They would be more convincing with “we are all in it together” if they led from the front. If they put pension age back – then put it back for themselves. Instead of squeezing the wages of the poor, start with slashing their own wages and the wages and pensions of the 6-figure salary brigade. Tackle waste not jobs. And people are sick of hearing “there’s no money” when it seems there IS money for HS2 and every other crackpot EU project which we have foisted on us – which are such good ideas we aren’t told where they are coming from. If we are all in it together, then ask the people of the country, who are paying nearly half their income in taxes, where we want the cuts made. Our two govts, here and in Brussels waste far too much money. If cheap labour is such a wonderful idea, start with the MEPs. There is no justification for their high salaries. And given that their accounts haven’t been signed off, ever? they have a bit of a cheek trying to micro-manage everyone else with endless bureaucratic red-tape and draconian fines for harmless infractions.

  42. Hugh Walter

    So…I’ve had the answer everybody else has presumably had….

    “Dear Mr. Walter

    Thanks for contacting us about coverage of the People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration on 21 June.

    We understand you feel there was insufficient coverage of this demonstration by BBC News.

    We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this general response aims to answer the key concerns raised, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.

    Your concerns were raised with senior editorial staff at BBC News who responded as follows:

    “We covered this demonstration on the BBC News Channel with five reports throughout Saturday evening, on the BBC News website on Sunday, as well as on social media. We choose which stories we cover based on how newsworthy they are and what else is happening and we didn’t provide extensive coverage because of a number of bigger national and international news stories that day, including the escalating crisis in Iraq, British citizens fighting in Syria and the death of Gerry Conlon.

    We frequently report on the UK economy and what it means for the British public. We also reflect the concerns of people such as those demonstrating, and others who hold opposing views, across our daily news output on TV, radio as well as online, and we also explore them in more depth including in our political programming and current affairs investigations, debates on ‘Question Time’ and during interviews and analysis on programmes such as ‘PM’ and ‘Newsnight’. Inevitably, there may be disagreements over the level of prominence we give to stories, but we believe our coverage of this subject has been fair and impartial.”

    We hope this goes some way to explaining our position, and thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Complaints”

    But……My complaint was about the ‘bias’ associated with the lack of coverage, not the coverage per se.

    Needless to say there is nothing in the email or on the complaints page to say how to appeal or escalate the complaint, bias being one of the more serious charges one can make against the BBC, does anyone know what my next ‘proper’ step should be?

    Interesting that their defence consists of pointing out they covered it on limited access platforms only…if it deserved coverage it deserved it on the terrestrial TV channels and the 4/5 main/national Radio stations!

    Equally interesting is how they have in the past happily beaten themselves up over their own failings, yet now they are neither covering the lack of coverage nor covering the backlash?

    1. amnesiaclinic

      Escalate it through writing to your MP making these very good points. They should then contact a minister for a full reply.
      Also cancel your licence fee and tell them why! If enough do that they may get the message – except this govt would like to see the bbc disappear. And that may ultimately be the problem…

      1. Hugh Walter

        As I’m homeless a licence fee is not something that troubles me at the moment! But will write to MP…although I think mine is the corrupt s*** taking a job in defence after access to sensitive information through his ministerial job in err…defence! Nice work if you can get it!!!!

    2. forcemajeure007

      Your complaint was made under the heading ‘bias’, I forgot to mention that mine was under the heading ‘offended’ and someone else dud it under lack of coverage. You’d think that this would send a clear message that “The lack of coverage was both biased and offensive!!!”

  43. phillevans

    TL:DR; I submitted an FoIA request as to why the BBC didnt cover a recent DPAC demo. It was a washout: “The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you…”

    1. Mike Sivier

      Phill also copied in the full reply, which I have edited out as it is quite lengthy and includes his email address (I’m not keen on publicising these on the blog as this may attract unsolicited attention). His description of the response is accurate.

  44. Hugh Walter

    They (BBC News) have just fobbed-off their own ‘Feedback’ on R4 with an extended version of the above rubbish, the presenter sounded as unhappy with the situation as everyone else on the complaining side…one smells a sticking great rat here, not helped by the half-hearted coverage of the occupation of Westminster Abbey this weekend?

  45. forcemajeure007

    BBC correspondent to increase disability coverage

    Category: Latest news
    Created: Monday, 30 June 2014 11:20
    BBC News hopes to increase awareness of disability issues with a number of on-air and digital projects after hiring its first disability correspondent.

    The corporation announced in April that Nikki Fox would join to report on the subject across news bulletins and BBC Breakfast. She has been tasked with engaging audiences both affected and unaffected by disability.

    Wheelchair user Fox has previously appeared on BBC1’s The One Show and Rip Off Britain, and has made docs for Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, including Beyond Disability: The Adventures Of A Blue Badger.

    “We want to look into how the cuts to benefits are affecting people with disabilities and how the changes to the education system may impact children with disabilities,” said Fox, who will work alongside three broadcast journalists in Salford dedicated to disability issues.

    The full story is available here on the Broadcast Now website (paywall)

    Nikki Fox can also be found on twitter as @FoxNikkiFox

    1. Mike Sivier

      Wasn’t there something dodgy about this appointment? It might not have been here on the blog. Did Private Eye do something about this? I’d appreciate help from commenters who are in the know.

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