Free your staff to voice their opinions
by Peter Hitchens
The BBC should grasp that impartiality cannot be achieved by people with opinions pretending not to have them. The Corporation should free its own staff to express their true opinions openly, as most of them do without realising it in their attempts at ‘impartial’ reporting and presenting anyway, through selection of material, tone of voice, use of loaded verbs (e.g. ‘insist’ or ‘claim’ instead of ‘say’) adjectives (‘extremist’, ‘right-wing’) and nouns (‘progress’ and ‘investment’ where ‘spending’ would be more accurate). It should recruit such staff more widely and use the adversarial system on major current affairs programmes such as ‘Today’, so that – for instance – no major political figure would ever again be interviewed by a sympathiser. The Corporation should possess at least one interviewer, which at present is not the case, who can grill an opponent of capital punishment or supporter of manmade climate change.
Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) is an author, broadcaster and journalist for the Mail and Mail on Sunday
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