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Rethinking balance and impartiality in journalism? How the BBC attempted and failed to change the paradigm

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID:, Berry, Mike ORCID:, Garcia-Blanco, Inaki ORCID:, Bennett, Lucy ORCID: and Cable, Jonathan 2017. Rethinking balance and impartiality in journalism? How the BBC attempted and failed to change the paradigm. Journalism 18 (7) , pp. 781-800. 10.1177/1464884916648094

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This paper revisits the concepts of balance and impartiality in journalism, in the context of a quantitative content analysis of sourcing patterns in BBC broadcast and online news programming in 2007 and 2012. Impartiality is the cornerstone of principles of public service broadcasting at the BBC and other broadcasters modelled on it. However, the paper suggests that in the case of the BBC, it is principally put into practice through juxtaposing the positions of the two main political parties – Conservative and Labour. This is the case despite the news organization’s stated commitment to representing a broader range of opinion. These findings are explored through an examination of BBC coverage of three contentious issues - immigration, religion and Britain’s relationship to Europe.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1464-8849
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 13:42

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