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[Image: Sketchaganda].

Many of you will be aware the blogger Beastrabban is actually my brother, Dr David Sivier. He raises an interesting issue in discussing my critique of the BBC’s decision to invite mostly right-whingers to Question Time, practically every week.

Intriguingly, he ends his post by saying that he’s going to be down the pub trying to do something constructive. This may possibly be planning the launch of a balanced debate show on social media.

If a truly balanced political/ topical issues panel show like Question Time on TV, and Any Questions on the radio does get going, then it’s bound to worry the BBC even more. The mainstream media is worried now that increasingly more people are taking their news from social media, indeed of sitting down and watching the corporate, right-wing biased material they pump out. You can imagine just what kind of explosion will happen at the Beeb if they suddenly find that more people are watching the internet’s answer to those two shows: there will be more huffing and puffing in the media about how the consensus is being destroyed and politics more fragmented, because people are watching the parts of the internet they agree with. This, I think, is a particular problem for the Beeb, as it’s the national broadcaster and so likes to consider itself the former of the nation’s opinions. Just like the various pompous Tory broadsheets, the Times and Torygraph. The result of this will be more scare stories about fake news on social media. And if the panel show is on RT or another foreign-owned station, they’ll try and work up a scare about it being a source of evil foreign propaganda.

I was indeed down at the pub rather than watching Question Time. While I was at the pub, I got talking with a complete stranger; I’d never met him before.

But we were both on the same page when it came to the mainstream media trying to spoonfeed us fake opinions, which is exactly what the BBC’s Question Time tries to do; he said we can all use the Internet, so we can all look up the facts for ourselves, and I agreed.

Some of us don’t, unfortunately.

But increasing numbers of us do. And an online, impartial version of Question Time might concentrate the relevant information in a single place.

That is exactly what people at the BBC fear.

I, for one, would love it.


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