It's the middle of the month, so here's an update on the the Interruption Coefficient findings for July, looked at from three angles.
So far I've covered 151 interviews.
Totalling up the lengths of all the interviews I've been able to work out an exact percentage for the amount of airtime each party has been granted by the BBC so far this month:
Lib Dems 9.9%
Plaid Cymru 0.4%
This certainly looks to me like rampant institutional pro-Labour bias. Even granted that they are the governing party &, thus, liable for greater questioning, the staggering scale of the Labour Party's dominance of the BBC airwaves (an absolute majority, a landslide, more than all the other parties combined) is surely anti-democratic.
Incidentally, the UKIP figure of 0.6% is a disgrace. In the last nationwide election (June's European election) they gained 16.5% of the vote. You would have thought that this would have entitled them to more airtime on the Beeb. Not a bit of it.
The cross-bench figure is for Lord Owen, who is a non-aligned member in the House of Lords.
NUMBER OF INTERVIEWS GRANTED TO EACH PARTY
BNP - 1
Conservatives - 39
Crossbench - 1
Green - 4
Labour - 76
Lib Dems - 22
Plaid Cymru - 1
SNP - 5
UKIP - 2
Note here how the Lib Dem and Conservative figures rise in relation to Labour, revealing the fact that the Labour Party interviews tended to be longer. Again though, Labour is dominant.
AVERAGE NUMBER OF INTERRUPTIONS PER PARTY
This is in many ways going to be one of the Interruption Coefficient's most telling results. These figures are obtained by simply adding all the interruptions contained in all the interviews with a particular party together & then working out an average (by dividing it by the number of interviews granted to each party).
BNP - 8
Plaid Cymru - 5
SNP - 5
Conservatives - 3.5
UKIP - 2
Lib Dems - 1.5
Green - 0.5
Crossbench - 0
So though, as stated above, you might expect the governing Labour Party to receive a little more airtime, so that they can be questioned on government policy, these results reveal that Her Majesty's official opposition, in fact, receive tougher questioning than Her Majesty's government. So much for that potential BBC excuse!
Note the Liberal Democrat and Green figures & see what an easy ride they are given. This seems to me to be a particularly telling result.
All the nationalist parties fair badly, a trend I noticed last month too.
All this goes to show that "there is a democratic deficit in this country which is getting more dangerous by the year" (as someone, I can't think who!, said recently) & the BBC is a big part of the problem.
At this month's end, I will try to use these figures to help further the fight against BBC bias. I have received some invaluable advice from fellow bloggers on how to do this - and do it I will.
Will it do any good? Only time will tell.
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