Friday, 30 May 2014

1.2 million votes and still little coverage

Give the Green Party adequate and fair coverage relative to their success.

Why is this important?

We feel the BBC News coverage of the European and Local Elections has, to date, been unfairly biased against the Green Party. This bias is not only evident in the almost complete absence of coverage of the Green Party during the European and, specifically, Local Election results, but also prior to this during the campaign for the elections on Thursday 22nd May.
Whilst we understand that UKIP made gains in the Local Elections, it has gone largely unreported that the Green Party currently have a total of 178 Councillors and are now the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Islington, Lewisham, and Norwich (15 councillors to Labour's 21). They gained two seats in Bristol, one with over 47% of the vote and retained a third seat, bringing the total to 6.

In the European Elections the Green Party were sporadically and reluctantly mentioned by the BBC due to the fact they are now in fourth place ahead of the Lib Dems. A representative of the Green Party (Leader Natalie Bennett) was not interviewed until 2:30am (26/5/14) on BBC One's Vote 2014, members of the other four parties were interviewed multiple times prior to this. The Today programme (R4) news summary at 8:30am (26/5/14) mentioned the Lib Dems in 5th place, but there was no mention of the Greens let alone their being in 4th. These are just a couple of examples of the refusal by the BBC to acknowledge the Green Party's successes.

The Green Party have one MP, one member of the House of Lords, three MEP's, two MSP's, two London Assembly members, as well as a Green-led Council in Brighton & Hove; none of these (with the exception of the MEP's and House of Lords members) are privileges enjoyed by UKIP.

Seeing as the results of the European Elections placed the Greens in fourth position ahead of the Lib Dems, they should surely be treated as a Major Party, and receive coverage reflective of that not only during and in the lead-up to elections, but also in the interim period on programmes such as Question Time. Incidentally, between the beginning of January 2014 and 22nd May 2014 Question Time has featured five UKIP representatives and only one Green representative (Caroline Lucas).

Most despicable of all was how, in much of the BBC's coverage of the election results, the Green Party were consistently lumped in with the 'Others' category and often removed altogether from statistical evidence. This is an insult to the 8% who voted for them - 1.2million members of the British public.

To quote 'Tim G.' in the comments section below: "The continual swamping of our news services about UKIP (a single topic campaign party), gave them an unfair advantage over parties trying to address the real problems in the UK, both political & environmental..."

The BBC prides itself on painting a fair and unbiased picture of events, however in this case we feel they have not done so. All parties should receive fair and balanced coverage, whether they be Left, Right, or Centre. This apparent news blackout of the Green Party by a much respected taxpayer funded corporation is incredibly disturbing.

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