BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Monday, 14 September 2009


The Scots have The Politics Show: Scotland and the lucky Welsh have Dragon's Eye. The equivalent in Northern Ireland (shown on the BBC Parliament Channel on Sundays) is Hearts and Minds, hosted by Noel Thomson. I thought it might be interesting to see if any trends in bias emerge over the coming months in its coverage of the province's political scene - using those tried-and-tested interruption coefficients.
Because Northern Ireland's political parties are so different to those of the rest of the United Kingdom - and because I want to keep my Air-Time Percentages index free from such obscuring complications - I won't be including the programme in my monthly I.C. spreadsheets - but it can have a spreadsheet of its own instead.
For starters, here are the figures for the first programme of the new season:
Arlene Foster, DUP - 1.6 (with 7 interruptions)
David McNarry, UUP - 1.2 (with 3 interruptions)
Alex Attwood, SDLP - 0.6 (with 2 interruptions)
John O'Dowd, Sinn Fein - 0.3 (with 1 interruption)
Stephen Farry, Alliance - 0 (with 0 interruptions)
Only time will tell whether these starkly contrasting figures are statistically significant - or not.

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