Biased Broadcasting Corporation?

Ironically it is the BBC who are reporting David Simpson’s comments at Stormont that the BBC is perceived as biased:

Simpson said
“There is a perception that the BBC in some ways is very biased when it comes to the nationalist or republican side of broadcasting,”
Mr Simpson said “rightly or wrongly”, there was a perception among unionists about BBC bias.
“A journalist from the unionist community recently spoke to me and described the BBC in Belfast as the coldest media house for a unionist journalist that they had ever walked into – an experience more chilling than a greeting at a Sinn Fein press conference.”

In reply BBC NI controller Peter Johnston said:
“I have heard that perception portrayed by politicians primarily and some associated interest groups. We have done over many years huge amounts of audience research, and that is not what people believe in general. A core purpose of ours is impartiality and I have never seen any audience research evidence that this perception is shared more widely.”

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Biased? Never! It just looks like Flanders fields. Shure even Donna Trainor is wearing a poppy.

  • John O’Connell

    I would say that this nonsense is more to do with the insecurity faced by the DUP now that the TUV is chasing their tail.

    All politicians feel insecurities about the media especially when their seat is a marginal. It’s true of all parties, and I know when I see the BBC, I think immediately of unionist bias and Sinn Fein bias rather than any fairness to the SDLP. Am I wrong? I doubt it.

  • TimeForFairPlay

    BBC NI – Dedicated web pages for the GAA and Irish Language. None for Ulster-British culture and heritage.

    Continuous promotion of GAA matches and disruption of the national schedule. A couple of hours per year covering Ulster-British culture.

    The BBC ignores the fact that the GAA is a political organisation which flies a foreign flag, plays a foreign anthem before games in Northern Ireland UK and celebrates murdering terrorists.

    And then there is the general coverage of events. The BBC has never held Sinn Fein Provos to account for their crimes. Compare this to how they questioned Nick Griffin on Question Time.

    Sinn Fein Provos are called IRA ‘volunteers’; other people who have carried out similiar crimes are called terrorist murderers.

    David Simpson is correct. The perception from the Unionist community is that Sinn Fein Provos are running BBC NI.

  • alan56

    Surely a journalist worth their salt is neither a unionist or nationalist journalist. It is about facts. Their private views can inform but should not slant their stories. Commentry is different and the two should not be confused.

  • John O’Connell

    A good test of whether or not the BBC is biased in favour of Sinn Fein would be if they were to put on a Spotlight programme about Richard O’Rawe’s claims that Gerry Adams deliberately sacrificed 6 of the hunger strikers for political gain.

    Personally I think they won’t do it but that may be because they have clout with the British government, who have clout with the BBC, not because the BBC is biased. But if the BBC did put it on, they could never again be accused of bias because they would have ruined Sinn Fein forever.

  • Padraig

    The Serbs, the Afrikanners, the Klan, the BNP all have had similiar diffs with the media.

    Shinning lights in dark places upsets some folks, look at poor Louis Theroux, he’d probably get knee capped up the Shankill on principle.

  • Drumlins Rock

    lol, thats funny alan 🙂

    Might I suggest that rather than it being the usual prod/taig bias the BBC could be ahead of the game and the left leaning social bias thats evident across the water has reached here too? However as most unionist are to right of centre on these issues (as are a large wing of the SDLP)then they percieve it as the traditional sectarian bias.

  • John O’Connell

    Drumlins Rock

    However as most unionist are to right of centre on these issues (as are a large wing of the SDLP)

    What evidence do you have of SDLP right wing bias?

  • somethings never change

    Timeforfairplay – what coverage of Ulster British culture would you like to see, anything specific
    I would like to even know what Ulster British culture consists of

  • Padraig

    By the way , speaking of bias, how does this forum work? Do the last of the Totally Loyal Carsonite hold outs like Turgon get a free Loyal penalty kick at posting whenever he feels like it? A last scream from the Bunker before the Fenians put the Loyal lights out in a Sinn Fein final take over?

    These posts read like an editorial from the good old Protestant Telegraph.

    Sigh .

    Those were the days. B Specials, Special Powers, our own wee Stormont, Prods only in the Shipyards, Mackies, the Council and just about everywhere else and the Teagues knew there place

  • Pancho’s Horse

    It’s very telling when the presenters can pronounce all the foreign names and surnames and even the tiniest little village in Helmand province but are tongue tied with a bit of (foreign) Gaelic or any name apart from Jack or Chloe.The aim of the BBC is to britishicise any area in which they broadcast – to make it all a cosy corner of the home counties.

  • alan56

    PH
    Are you serious?

  • some things never chane

    UTV aren’t far behind, when a Customs officer was interviewed after a major Cigerette haul, one if the first questions the presenter asked was – was it Republicans

  • Drumlins Rock

    if only miss marple were around she would find that bad old bin laden

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘…described the BBC in Belfast as the coldest media house for a unionist journalist that they had ever walked into…’

    Perhaps John McVicar should just stick to walking into chippers instead.

  • Drumlins Rock

    BTW, was it Republicans?

    first thing came to my mind.

  • Turgon

    I do not want to interrupt the flow of the thread but in answer to Padraig’s question.

    Mick asks people to blog. There are bloggers of all sorts. I am one of the more prolific (though not a patch on Pete). There are also a number of republicans.

    In terms of what I blog Mick allows me to do what I want. If you are interested I read the site for several months and then eventually plucked up the courage to make a comment. Eventually I asked Mick hoe to set up my own blog (I was going to call it Gondolin after Turgon’s city) but he suggested I blog here.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Gondolin, lovely place, used it as a screen name once, have also used Ecthellion in the past, but someone else uses it too I think, great place to get names almost tempted for here, but resisted. My concentration span is too short for full blogs think i will stick to comments for now.

  • So, there is a “perception” that the BBC is biased against unionists and an unnamed journalist got a bad feeling when he walked into Broadcasting House in Belfast. Is that it? Does David Simpson provide any other hard evidence of BBC bias?

    The fact of that matter is that almost everyone in politics thinks that the Beeb are biased against them. The DUP think they are biased. The BNP think they are part of an ultra left conspiracy. Tony Benn once likened them to the KGB. Tories think they’re biased towards Labour. Labour thinks they’re biased towards the Tories. The Real IRA detonated a car bomb outside TVC in London because they had the audacity to make a documentary about them. The Official IRA threatened to kill people working on an edition of Spotlight that was exposing their murky dealings. Indeed, as far as I recall didn’t the Provisional IRA actually bomb their Ormeau Avenue HQ as well back in the seventies? I remember an old former BBC employee telling me that they only way the Corporation can ensure impartiality is to piss off everyone.

    Perception is one thing. Reality is another altogether. But then reality hardly matters when you’re dealing with a young earth creationist cretin like Mr Simpson.

  • Sean

    The BBC is a British National Organization and as such the reception would be quite different then walking into a pseudo british/ulster nationalist organization like they operated in nIreland.

    It would more honestly reflect the british real feelings for unionists and their armed terrorists

  • frustrated democrat

    What was the reasoning for having Chris McGimpsey on Talk Back today – who exactly was he representing apart from the 3 other signatories of a letter leaked by them to the BBC?

    If another obscure member of the UUP writes a letter to Reg Empey asking him to sack Hermon after her outburst and leaks it to the BBC will they also be given equally extensive time on TalkBack.

    Bias in favour of socialists or not?

  • Mark McGregor

    Other than the rant about the BBC showing GAA matches – something they’ve pissed GAA supporters over when they only show 6 county matches – I’ve not seen any actual evidence presented of this republican bias.

    As noted above, while they enforce the 6 week poppy rule or into the cupboard with you it doesn’t really hold much water.

    Some evidence please?

  • TimeForFairPlay

    Ulster-Scots and Irish have both been recognised by the Government. The BBC has dedicated web pages and programmes for Irish.

    Whether you regards Ulster-Scots as a language or dialect doesn’t matter. There are many cultural Ulster-British activities organised by the Ulster-Scots Agency which are not covered by the BBC.
    ——–
    The greater number of people in NI find the GAA offensive because of their sectarian and political baggage. Yet the BBC dedicates considerable resources covering GAA activities. No other so-called ‘sporting’ organisation with such terrorist links would get any coverage. How much is BBC NI spending on GAA coverage each year?
    ——–
    When the Northern Ireland national team are playing, BBC NI should ensure they have the rights to the games. Sometimes they seem more interested in discussing foreign teams. This would not happen within the BBC in England, Scotland or Wales.
    ——–
    Since the city council in Londonderry changed their name to Derry City Council, the BBC never refers to it as Londonderry City Council. Why then does the BBC use a mixture of Derry and Londonderry to describe the city given that it is called Londonderry?

  • skullion

    Timeforfairplay

    All your prayers would’ve be answered by tonights edition of Spotlight.

  • borderline

    The first B in the BBC stands not for Biased but for British.

    It is an utter disgrace that public money pays for this extremely powerful organization to broadcast it’s UK nationalist propaganda across all media. Every day they go to London, England, for the ‘national’ news. Who’s fucking nation is that?

    In NI, there is no Irish Broadcasting Corporation, controlled by Irish people, with an Irish Charter, informed by Irish cultural values, broadcasting to the Irish people of Northern Ireland.

    As for the pathetic claims that the British BC is anti-unionist, well we know that unionists complained one time of being ‘distressed’ at hearing GAA results being read out.

    They got over it though.

  • Padraig

    Turgon,

    The hand of time writes once and having writ moves on.

    The time for the Prod homeland has passed.

    Let it go.

    Forgive.

    Move on.

  • Jo

    I recall a certain exreme unionist criticising the BBC for “bias” because they carried a news item covering a house fire in the Republic in which several young children were burned to death.

    I think it was the most disgusting and perverse criticism of the Corporation – and journalism – I have ever heard from anyone.

    Ironically, despite criticisng the BBC for “bias”, this same person appears regularly to present suitably sanitised versions of their prejudiced political outlook.

    While I have respect for David Simpson generally, on this one he is wrong.

  • Fabianus

    Try as I may I can’t seem to find much bias at the Beeb. Possibly in one area.

    Can anybody explain why BBC NI don’t offer a weather forecast for the RoI? I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to know what the weather was like in Dublin in preparation for a trip there.

    Is it because they’d have to pay a southern weather station for the info?

  • fionn

    “There are many cultural Ulster-British activities organised by the Ulster-Scots Agency which are not covered by the BBC.”

    such as?

  • Seimi

    What are ‘cultural Ulster-British activities?’ Seriously? What are they? Are they the same as cultural Ulster-Scots activities? Jethro Tull performing the Sash maybe? The BBC may have an Irish language unit, but their coverage is pretty woeful. The unit is hugely under-funded compared to other regions. As for radio coverage, they cut Irish language programming to give Ulster-Scots a bit more airtime. Biased? Maybe? Unfair? Maybe. But not biased or unfair in terms of Ulster-Scots/Ulster-British. Seriously though – what IS Ulster-British? Is this a new culture? Why wasn’t I informed?

    ‘The greater number of people in NI find the GAA offensive’ – You can, of course, provide proof to back up this statement…can’t you?

    ‘When the Northern Ireland national team are playing, BBC NI should ensure they have the rights to the games’ – you are absolutely right. BBC NI SHOULD ensure they have the rights to the games. Why don’t they? And when they do, why are they always shown on BBC2? You would almost think that they don’t think many people in NI want to watch….

    ‘Since the city council in Londonderry changed their name to Derry City Council, the BBC never refers to it as Londonderry City Council. Why then does the BBC use a mixture of Derry and Londonderry to describe the city given that it is called Londonderry?’ – Didn’t you answer your own question here? The council changed the name, so why refer to it by the old name…?

    Seriously mate, I think you need to go out in the fresh air a bit more…

  • Fabianus

    What are ‘cultural Ulster-British activities?’ Jethro Tull performing the Sash maybe?

    ROTFLMAO!

  • Neil

    Ulster-Scots and Irish have both been recognised by the Government.

    This statement means nothing. Recognised as what? presumably a language. Governments don’t decide what qualifies as a language though. According to the system used for determining what is a language, Ulster Scots is not.

    The BBC has dedicated web pages and programmes for Irish.

    Yes we pay you see. As we pay we have rights to the service too. They also have a large chunk of the site in english, that would, one would imagine, keep the British happy.

    Whether you regards Ulster-Scots as a language or dialect doesn’t matter. There are many cultural Ulster-British activities organised by the Ulster-Scots Agency which are not covered by the BBC.

    Bollocks. Have you ever seen Danner with Drennan? All he does is tour the Ulster Sctos circuit. They cover all there is to cover, and in proportion to Ulster Scots numbers. No one speaks the dialect, there is a tiny core of people who take an interest, so you do not get wall to wall coverage out of my licence fee.

    The greater number of people in NI find the GAA offensive because of their sectarian and political baggage. Yet the BBC dedicates considerable resources covering GAA activities.

    You’re labouring under a misaprehension there fella, you think all Unionists are the same as you. Thankfully you’re mistaken. A significant portion of them don’t find the GAA offensive. Ever hear of a Protestant player or the PSNI team? I have. Time has passed you by, the world’s moved on.

    No other so-called ‘sporting’ organisation with such terrorist links would get any coverage. How much is BBC NI spending on GAA coverage each year?

    I won’t waste time trying to rationally explain this to you, you’re quite bitter obviously, however I would point out there are no sporting organisations with terrorist links for them to get any coverage. I’m unaware of the Hezbollah linked football team that the BBC continually ignore. Provide an example of this ‘other so-called ‘sporting’ organisation with such terrorist links would get any coverage’

    When the Northern Ireland national team are playing, BBC NI should ensure they have the rights to the games. Sometimes they seem more interested in discussing foreign teams. This would not happen within the BBC in England, Scotland or Wales.

    They should try to get the rights, though usually International games have a competitive element to them involving ‘foreign teams’, so say for example in a World Cup qualifier most people are interested in the progress of the ‘foreign teams’ as it impacts the NI team’s campaign. They do discuss ‘foreign teams’ in England, Scotland and Wales for the reasons outlined above.

    Since the city council in Londonderry changed their name to Derry City Council, the BBC never refers to it as Londonderry City Council. Why then does the BBC use a mixture of Derry and Londonderry to describe the city given that it is called Londonderry?

    The City of Derry Council is called the City of Derry Council, much like Ballymena Borough Council is known as Ballymena Borough Council and the same for Belfast City Council. It’s what the council is called, or to put it another way it’s the council’s name. With me so far?

    The BBC uses a mixture of Londonderry and Derry to be impartial (ironically you seem to be arguing that using both terms is biased against you).

    The truth of the matter is that you long for the days when they fenians knew their place. You want BBC1 to show only OO parades and BBC2 for the Ulster Scot’s speaker. You want to roll back the clock and any equality for non WASPs is viewed by you as a loss. Ah well, it’s a hard life.

  • Brit

    This is my third attempt to post on the BBC issue – the previous two crashed my computer.

    In my view the BBC do a very good job at being impartial. There is, of course, not such thing as total impartiality as all perceptions and modes of presentations are based on certain accepted truths. Accordingly the BBC indirectly reinforces the centre ground/majority views whilst tending to undermine extreme or radical perspectives.

    Furthermore it is inevitable that the BBC’s output will reflect, to some degree, the political prejudices of its journos and editors, most of whom are part of the upper middle class, liberal, urban, intelligensia (a group not renowned for an instinctive love of Ulster Unionists).

  • Brit

    “Can anybody explain why BBC NI don’t offer a weather forecast for the RoI?”

    Nationalists would see it is a claim by the Brits/English to power over the Republic and /or typical ignorant arrogance of failing to understand that RoI is an independent country.

    Unionists would see it as an implicit acceptance that the ireland of Ireland is a single country/nation with all of the nationalist and unification implications of such a perspective.

  • Seimi

    2 crackers in a row, Brit. Possibly your computer crashed because it couldn’t believe you were implying that the BBC has no love for Ulster Unionists, or maybe it was for your summing up of the weather. Only in the north would weather be political.

  • Fabianus

    Brit

    Thanks for the answer to the weather forecast question. Would the clear delineation of the border on the weather map not preempt protest from either side?

    Are you sure there isn’t a financial reason behind this? I’m genuinely interested. It seems downright silly for somebody wishing to make a daytrip to the Donegal coast in summer to be deprived of a forecast when it’s perhaps a half-hour’s journey in some cases.

  • Fabianus

    Seimi

    Only in the north would weather be political.

    Say what you like about the weather but if it wasn’t for the weather then many people in these islands would be strangely silent.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The whole argument could be laid to rest if the DUP actually bothered to commission some independent content analysis of the BBC’s output.

    That it doesn’t bother its arse doing this speaks volumes. No-one gives a toss about a few anecdotes from journalists venting to David Simpson.

  • Greenflag

    johnny guitar,

    ‘Perception is one thing. Reality is another altogether. ‘

    This is true but it’s also true that man not being an entirely ‘rational’ animal often permits his perceptions to become ‘reality’ at least for long enough to do a lot of damage .

    ‘ But then reality hardly matters when you’re dealing with a young earth creationist cretin like Mr Simpson. ‘

    Well this is confirmation of the point re man not being an entirely ‘rational ‘ animal . In Simpson’s case you can also add idiot to the irrational qualification 🙁

    Anyone who can convince themselves that the Earth /Universe is 6,000 years old must by definition also believe that their Creator is the biggest practical joker ever to have created a universe . The laws of physics and chemistry and biology and all the sciences and the thousands of scientific findings over the past several centuries prove the age of the Earth being approx 4.4 billion years old .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Fabianus,

    I agree about the weather thing it is annoying – but of course it could be easily manipulated by suggesting that the bad weather was coming in from the papish south or refreshing winds were coming over from the east – and just imagine if rain driving in from the South were to appear on the 12th?

    But I have found it refreshing how much coverage of the Southern Irish territories is given and wonder what exactly the guidleines are – not wishing to suggest a line of attack against the all round brilliant BBC but they might be vulneralbe to probing in that area from disgrunteld Unionists.

  • TimeForFairPlay

    For Ulster-British culture, perhaps you haven’t heard of the Ulster Society. Of course the Ulster-Scots Agency is the prime organisation but Ulster also has links with all parts of the British Isles – hence the term Ulster-British.

    There are many festivals organised around Ulster – reflecting Orange, Ulster-Scots and general Ulster-British culture. The BBC are not interested unless they think there might be trouble.

    As for Irish Language and culture, I support the BBC showing such programmes – provided Sinn Fein Provos are not using them to push their agenda. I’m just asking for fair play which currently doesn’t exist.

    GAA – earlier this month Sunday Life produced a list of GAA links to Republican terrorists.

    Derry/Londonderry, Seimi posted “Didn’t you answer your own question here? The council changed the name, so why refer to it by the old name…?”
    The name of the city is still officially Londonderry – therefore, why does the BBC refer to it as Derry? You either use Londonderry and Derry for both or you use the official name for each of them.

    Some of the comments by Republicans are simply racist. If they were made about Black or Asian people, there would be outrage. Yet Republicans seem to think they can say what they like about the Ulster-British community in Northern Ireland. We’re not going to go anywhere. You’ve had your dirty little terrorist murder campaign. It’s time to move on and show some respect for your Protestant neighbours.

  • willis

    Has David Simpson appeared on this show?

    Can he actually speak Ulster-Scots?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007d4s0

  • Seimi

    TimeForFairPlay

    From the Ulster Society website:-

    Here are some of the organisations with which we co-operate.

    BBC Northern Ireland

    How does that sit with what you originally posted?

    ‘The perception from the Unionist community is that Sinn Fein Provos are running BBC NI.’

    And you seriously use the Sunday Life as one of your references? Seriously?

    ‘Some of the comments by Republicans are simply racist.’

    Can you point some of these out please?

    Perhaps you should step away from the keyboard, open a window, and take a deep, deep breath…

  • Greenflag

    Timeforfairplay ,

    ‘ We’re not going to go anywhere. ‘

    Not even for better weather ;)?

    ‘Say what you like about the weather but if it wasn’t for the weather then many people in these islands would be strangely silent”

    What are you on about man ? These islands don’t have ‘weather’ they have a climate and a bloody awful one at that . It has of course improved since the last ice age but alas we’re destined to have another 14 or so ice ages before we can depend on a really warm spell . But before you all rush for the sun tan creams and swimming gear the really long hot spell will begin for another billion years . By then of course some of you may have lost interest 😉

    In case any of you are planning any retreats to the South of France or Italy as early cro magnons did during the last age there is alas a problem .Unlike 15,000 years ago when those regions were sparsely populated if at all today they have a numerous population who may not take kindly to people waving around ‘pounds sterling ‘ pretending it still has exchange value 😉

  • themins

    Timeforfairplay

    The name of the council and the city are different. The name of the council was changed by the Change of District Name (Londonderry) Order 1984, passed by Westminster. So the BBC referring to Derry City Council is correct, because that’s its name, as ordered by Parliament.

  • Fabianus

    themins

    The fact that the BBC alternates Londonderry and Derry is surely an indication of its lack of bias.

    Personally the use of either appellation leaves me cold. But that’s perhaps because I actually have a life—such as it is.

  • themins

    Fabianus

    Just trying to explain why the BBC always uses Derry when referring to the council. Alternating when talking about the place is a different matter.

  • Fabianus

    themins

    Sorry, you’re right. I was possibly replying to an earlier comment.

  • borderline

    Brit sees the BBC as impartial. Well, your well-named Brit.

    About 20% of the time, in my experience, BBC NI forecasters acknowledge the fact that the sea does not go all the way around NI, and placenames on the southern side are shown. It is hard to show the NI weather without including Monaghan.
    And on occasion, the island is shown and it’s weather referred to. And I guess the references to places in the South, and the upbeat presentation of the 32-county rugby team news mean that the days of the ridiculous pretence that the South was of no interest to the North are slowly disappearing.

    Whatever abouth the South, I’ve never seen a placename on the weather map in it’s original Gaelic form, though the Presby Scots on BBC Alba’s forecast have no problem with this.

    Glacial.

  • Jo

    And, borderline, it is precisely the inclusion of reference to the south that some Unionists object to, however difficult it is to refer to weather in counties Armagh and Fermanagh without the inconvenient wedge in between…mentioning the detahs of 4 children in a fire EVEN further to the south was obviously something to ignore, for corresponding reasons and “clear evidence” of “bias” – Pass the sick bag….

    I do recall from my childhood that the (UTV?) weather map showed the 6 counties isolated completely from the remainder of the island. Anyone searching for that particular shape of an island would have been somewhat frustrated..!

  • The BBC is generally a fine news organisation but it occasionally behaves in a very strange way. Mark Harbinson’s court appearance today on serious charges, including the rape of a 13-year-old girl and a range of other offences, was probably the biggest story of the week, particularly given his well-documented loyalist history and political connections. There were no restrictions on reporting the hearing, which included key pieces of evidence and strong comments from the magistrate. UTV led its 6pm programme with the case, but the BBC appear to have completely ignored it all day. There is nothing about it on the BBC website, and it has been omitted from the Newsline television bulletins all day. Some very curious editorial decisions seem to have been taken here.

  • Jo

    Old, I did my Masters on how the media treated Loyalism and IRA. Perhaps this isnt an area that extreme loyalists should venture into: Portadown Times (really) carried death notices for the Miami Showband bombers, but not referencing their financiers.

  • borderline

    BBC NI is not accountable to the people of NI.

    What we get is His Master’s Voice.

    Controlled by ooh-so-terribly moral and educated people.

    British people.

  • Fabianus

    borderline

    BBC NI is not accountable to the people of NI.

    What we get is His Master’s Voice.

    I beg to differ. The BBC NI reporters sound more like Daleks. Who recruits these people? Is there a BBC NI school of “elocution”?

    They all lack modulation in speech and seek to compensate by means of a totally artificial delivery. I’m thinking of people like Ivan Little and Mark Simpson. I’ve noticed that of late their RTE counterparts have adopted those hideous mannerisms.

    What does Auntie make of this? The contrast with English, Scottish and Welsh reporters is immense. Is it too much to ask that NI reporters try to sound reasonably human?

  • TimeForFairPlay

    The GAA. Seimi – “And you seriously use the Sunday Life as one of your references?”

    In this instance, the list in the Sunday Life is correct – showing the link between the GAA and terrorist murderers

    Londonderry/Derry. themins – “The name of the council and the city are different. The name of the council was changed by the Change of District Name (Londonderry) Order 1984”

    Yes, so the BBC should refer to the city as Londonderry. To quote from the legal ruling in 2007:
    “In summary I reject the applicant’s contention that the change of name from Londonderry City Council to Derry City Council under the Change of District Name (Londonderry) Order (Northern Ireland) 1984 had the effect of changing the name of the city specified in the 1662 Charter from Londonderry to Derry.”

    It shows bias against the Unionist community that the BBC often use Derry when referring to the city – yet never use Londonderry when referring to the council. I would be happy if they would use the official name of the council – Derry – and the official name of the city – Londonderry.

    Willis: Can [David Simpson] actually speak Ulster-Scots?

    You need to distinguish between speaking Ulster-Scots and Ulster-Scots culture. And anyway,
    just look at Shinner Irish – they do the Irish Language a great disservice by trying to use it for political purposes.

  • Here’s an update on the BBC and Mark Harbinson. Having ignored the well publicised raid on his house, his subsequent arrest and even his Wednesday court appearance on very serious charges, the BBC is now abruptly leading both Newsline and its website with Harbinson’s bail application. There can be no editorial justification for this sort of carry-on, but it would appear that someone at the BBC is reading Slugger and had had the good grace to be embarrassed.