It is a question of symantics, I know, but is it possible to be “more impartial”?

I didn’t think there was very much middle ground when it comes to impartiality. Just as it is impossible to be “fairly unique” – PR people everywhere please take note – you are either impartial or you are not.

So it could well be that the BBC is on something of a hiding to nothing after being told it needs to become “more impartial”.

A report commissioned by the corporation itself has highlighted some incidents where the Beeb has supposedly failed to live up to its own high standards of impartiality. But it also maintains that such standards are not a green light for the BBC to start indulging in political correctness, producing “insipid” programmes or censoring potentially controversial interviewees or issues.

By and large I would suggest the BBC is scrupilously fair, impartial and balanced in its coverage. But it will not be possible to please all viewers all of the time.

That is why I continue to be appalled at the info-tainment served up by BBC Breakfast and yet why a sizeable number of viewers love their morning slice of news-lite programming.

It will be interesting, therefore, to see how the BBC manages to meet its requirement to be more impartial.

The simple fact is that by keeping a closer watch on output, it will upset some viewers. Of course, if it did nothing then it will also annoy other viewers.

It sounds a fairly clear case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t and so I have a degree of sympathy for the BBC.

It is still not excuse, however, for giving Graham Norton such a high profile.


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