First half of UK Postcode
Type of complaint
BBC News (TV, Radio and website)
Which news service is it about
BBC News website
Contacted us before
Failure to report with impartiality Royal Colleges
The headline "A&E strike should be suspended, say medical leaders" is one sided and lacks impartiality, in breach of BBC Guideline: "News in whatever form must be treated with due impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands of argument." The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges statement starts with the sentence: "This is a time of unprecedented crisis for the NHS." This indicates an initial accusation of failure of health policy-makers. The third sentence starts with a call on both sides. The second clause mentions suspending imposition. Therefore an unbiased reporter would include both sides in the headline, or even emphasise the need for politicians to take action. The BBC news article fails in 3 ways; 1) the headline mentions only suspension of the strike, 2) the picture is of a clinician, 3) The headline & subheading both refer to action by medical profession, whereas politicians are only mentioned in ordinary text. In these three ways a bias is created which fails to reflect with impartiality the statement of AoMRC, thus misleading the public. No doubt the reporter's defence will be that the story is about patient care and hence the strike action is a priority. This view does not take account for the future deterioration of patient care following imposition of contract, and therefore still fails at impartiality.