Editor’s note: America and Britain have long been considered two of the most liberty-minded nations on earth and a free press is one of the core tenets of the free society. At first glance, it would appear that this pillar of our society is still upheld, but when you scratch the surface, one discovers that the mainstream media is far from fulfilling its role to inform the public about vital issues. Liberty Nation presents this multi-part series examining the bias at the heart of the establishment press. In part 1 we examine Britain.
Almost everyone these days feels that the media has a certain bias against their own particular beliefs. But what if the bias actually existed? What if a small group of wealthy corporations controlled the majority of the media and were committed to an agenda of globalization at all costs? This is not, sadly, a thought experiment; it is the reality of the British media machine.
The non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders has rated the U.K. and the U.S. respectively as number 40 and 45 on their annual World Press Freedom Index — a surprisingly low rank for two supposed bastions of freedom.
The United Kingdom has allegedly had a free press since 1695. Centuries later, we might expect the U.K. to rank a little higher on press freedom than number 40 in the world. According to Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF), however, Britain is one of the worst ranked countries in Europe for press freedom, largely due to a heavy-handed government that often defers to so-called national security concerns over press freedom.
The DSMA Notice
The case of self-styled citizen-journalist Tommy Robinson, recently incarcerated for “breaching the peace” by filming accused rape gang members outside a court building, despite a reporting ban on their trail, has brought widespread public attention to the Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice, or DSMA. This is an official government request that the press refrain from publishing on certain stories precisely for reasons of national security, usually issued without the public’s knowledge and described in detail by LN here. The request is supposed to be voluntary, but the restriction placed on British Press by a judge, caused even publications supportive of Robinson’s cause, such as Breitbart, to back off. Pressure by certain media outlets eventually lead to a lifting of the ban.
The Tommy story hasn’t been the only incident subject to a recent DSMA. The Skripal poisoning, whereby former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in the town of Salisbury, is also the target of a DSMA Notice, according to Wikileaks. While the event was heavily publicized at first, news coverage sharply dropped after serious questions arose over the government’s conduct surrounding the incident — including Prime Minister Theresa May’s insistence on blaming Russia without any reliable evidence.
A Biased State Media
One of the most flagrant examples of media bias in the U.K. is that of the BBC and its Brexit coverage. As a state broadcaster, the BBC is funded by the taxpayer and therefore is expected to be unbiased. However, the outlet has been proven by several studies to be biased in its reportage. A report by Citivas in conjunction with News-Watch, monitored BBC flagship broadcasts since 1999 and found that only 3.2% of the guests had Euroskeptic views, compared to guests with pro-European Union opinions. Another study, by the Institute of Economic Affairs, found in BBC flagship programs, from June 2016 to December 2017, that:
“The imbalance on the two programmes is substantial, consistent and at odds with public opinion. The analysis reveals a two to one bias in favour of those who voted for Remain.”
Not only that, but the BBC’s international charity arm, BBC Media Action, actually accepted billions of dollars in funding from the E.U. in 2014-15 — the lead up to the Brexit referendum — while still claiming it wouldn’t impact their referendum coverage.
Perhaps the most disturbing incidents of media suppression and inaccurate reporting are not those handed down by the government, but rather the ones that are self-imposed. Citizens may be aware that the government is usually out for self-preservation but it is often shocking to realize that the press is, for some reason, censoring itself or manipulating the truth.
Liberty Nation witnessed this first hand in the aftermath of the recent Free Tommy Robinson rally in London. While the majority of protestors were peaceful and the event itself went off without a hitch, the establishment media decided to report on only one tiny aspect of the rally: a small group of protestors who clashed briefly with police after the event had broken up and most participants had left. Liberty Nation reporters can attest that this was not an accurate representation of the event, yet it was the only aspect of it splashed across most newspapers the next day.
There are just as many complaints on the left of politics. Writers for The Guardian, typically a left-wing publication, have complained of a right-wing bias in the British media. Their complaints point to another key problem in the modern media: the hyper-centralization of media ownership which pits one narrow point of view against another equally narrow perspective. According to the Media Reform Coalition, an organization concerned with the centralization of the press:
Britain has one of the most concentrated media environments in the world, with 3 companies in control of 71% of national newspaper circulation and 5 companies in command of 81% of local newspaper titles.
A report by the University of London and the Media Reform Coalition found:
“A marked and persistent imbalance in favour of sources critical of [left-wing Labour Party leader] Jeremy Corbyn, the issues that they sought to highlight, and the arguments they advanced… The BBC evening news bulletins gave nearly twice as much unchallenged airtime to sources critical of Corbyn compared to those that supported him.”
On the other hand, the Conservative Party accused the BBC of “horrifying” bias in favor of Corbyn’s campaign during the last general election.
Far from not being able to please everybody, the press is no longer able to please anybody and it appears its current purpose is merely to sow conflict, though not in a constructive way that pushes forward civilized debate on the issues of the day. The BBC and its major media competitors are no more in favor of a left-wing alternative than a right-wing one; the mainstream media’s wish is to continue relentlessly on a globalist agenda endorsed by the majority of bureaucrats and executives.
In the hands of the state machine and a tiny group of moguls, media outlets are no longer bound by truth or impartiality; it is globalism and the game of politics and profit to which they are now loyal.
Stay Tuned for A Not so Free Press: Media Bias Part 2, where Liberty Nation will explore current press coverage in the United States.