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Between Impartiality and Ideology: The BBC's Paradoxical Remit and the Case of Islam-Related News

Flood, CG, Hutchings, S, Miazhevich, G and Nickels, H (2011) Between Impartiality and Ideology: The BBC's Paradoxical Remit and the Case of Islam-Related News Journalism Studies, 12 (2). pp. 221-238.

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The public service broadcasting (PSB) remit of the BBC prescribes objectives of accuracy, impartiality, fairness and balance in news reporting but also requires the broadcaster to serve specified civic values deemed essential to the proper functioning of British society. Since this combination of civic values is not ideologically neutral, it raises the question of how liberal ideological assumptions are communicated in news items purporting to be ideology-free. We examine the question in relation to the representation of Islam(ism) as a security threat. Using a cross-disciplinary conceptual and methodological framework, we analyse reports sampled from nightly recording of the BBC’s Ten O’Clock News over two years (Nov. 06 – Oct. 08). Our procedure combines statistical analysis of salience with a case study based on close reading of two items concerning the trial of a Muslim man on charges of incitement to racial hatred and murder. The concluding discussion reflects on the tension involved in combining the two sides of the PSB remit in practice.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
Date : 16 September 2011
Identification Number : 10.1080/1461670X.2010.507934
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:07
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 14:31

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