BBC sparks fresh impartiality row after boss blasts 'echo chamber' Britons: 'Can't be trusted anymore!'

BBC sparks fresh impartiality row after boss blasts 'echo chamber' Britons: 'Can't be trusted anymore!'

WATCH NOW: Former TV Executive blasts BBC's impartiality

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 17/05/2024

- 22:44

BBC boss Deborah Turness has claimed only those who spend time in an 'echo chamber' see their coverage as biased

Former TV Executive Mike Hollingsworth has hit out at BBC boss Deborah Turness, following claims that only those in "echo chambers" believe the broadcaster's coverage is "biased".

Sparking a fresh impartiality row with the TV giants, Turness said it was "worrying" that people are gathering their news through "algorithms or subscriptions".

Speaking at the Sir Harry Evans Investigative Journalism Summit in London, she said: "You've got so many people spending so much of their time-consuming news which, because of algorithms or subscriptions they've chosen, is channelling [their] echo chamber. It's their point of view.

"But when they actually do come up for air and meet impartial news, they feel that it is an attack on their values. And that's what we've got to really worry about."

BBC Logo and Mike Hollingsworth

Mike Hollingsworth says the BBC 'can no longer be trusted'

Getty / GB News

Reacting to the remarks on GB News, Hollingsworth highlighted that the "real problem" of working with the BBC is that people "walk through the door and immediately think they've been given an impartiality card".

In a discussion with broadcaster Liz Kershaw and former Tory MP Jerry Hayes, he added: "I don't think it was ever impartial, but I think the BBC was trusted far more than it is now. I think now people are beginning to question it."

Sharing her experience of working in the BBC, Kershaw revealed that she would "arrive early" to "go through scripts" and "cut out" opinions that she was expected to discuss, but did not want to.

Kershaw told GB News: "I was presenting breakfast on my own, and I used to get these scripts given to me, and I'd go in the morning early enough to put a red line through them, because there were certain group things that you had to all adhere to.

BBC Broadcasting House

BBC boss Deborah Turness has claimed only those who spend time in an 'echo chamber' see coverage as biased


"One was we all know that climate change is real and it's manmade. Well, give me two people, one on either side, and we'll discuss it. They wouldn't. These were scripts that I was supposed to read, and I just wouldn't do it."


Hollingsworth noted Kershaw's story, and claimed "one of the problems you face in the BBC" is that "you are required to be impartial, and nobody quite knows what impartiality is about".

He explained: "And if you get lots of phone calls from two different sides - the Labour Party ring you up one moment and the Conservative Party ring you up the next, and they complain about things, you think you must be doing something right?"

Mark then questioned if there is "a more trusted platform than the BBC" in British broadcasting, and pressed the panel on whether they believe the company is "truly impartial".

Kershaw admitted: "I don't think there is, but I try and move around, I don't live in the chamber. I've lived it, that group think in the newsroom."

GB News panel

Hollingsworth highlighted the 'real problem' at the BBC is with impartiality

GB News

Hollingsworth said of the growing distrust with the BBC: "People see GB News, and they begin to see opinions that they perhaps hadn't been subjected to."

Kershaw then added: "When John Birt came in, in the early 90s, a lot of programmes on were news led. Entertainment was secondary.

"And the news presenters and journalists were encouraged to be celebrities. They're doing Strictly Come Dancing. No journalists should be doing Strictly Come Dancing."

Mark said of the BBC: "Let's be clear that the BBC have millions of TV viewers and listeners every week. Any polling will tell you that the BBC is trusted and loved by the vast majority of taxpayers, so they're clearly getting something right."

GB News has approached BBC for comment.

You may like