BBC and Channel 4 news blasted over royal coverage

16 May 2018

BBC and Channel 4 News have been heavily criticised for inept and distorted coverage of the royal wedding and monarchy.
 
Campaign group Republic has singled out Channel 4’s Fact Check for repeating claims they've made previously which are untrue, and which give a misleading picture of royal funding.
 
Republic will be reporting Fact Check to Ofcom for their inaccurate and misleading 'facts'.
 
The BBC has been accused of failing licence fee payers with its fawning and unquestioning coverage of the royal wedding.
 
The broadcaster has also failed to report a number of critical or serious stories surrounding the wedding, giving an entirely positive gloss to the occasion.
 
Republic has had meetings with editors and senior executives in the past, some of whom have accepted the view that the monarchy is a political issue.
 
Despite this the BBC continues to celebrate, not report, the Royal Family.
 
Graham Smith of Republic said today:
 
"The monarchy is a contentious issue, it provides us with a head of state and lies at the heart of our constitution.  This issue must be treated by broadcasters as politics, not entertainment."
 
"These two broadcasters enjoy a high degree of trust among the viewing public, and with that trust comes great responsibility."
 
"I'm astonished that Channel Four's Fact Check has repeated basic errors, suggesting the monarchy costs the taxpayer nothing.  You'd think they would actually check their facts."
 
"I have pointed out these mistakes to them before, they are not complicated nor controversial, yet they have just produced a new video repeating their errors.  How difficult is it to understand?  Crown Estate revenue does not pay for or offset the cost of the monarchy."
 
"The BBC has willfully ignored a string of stories that might put a different complexion on the wedding story.  They continue to celebrate and promote the monarchy, not simply report on it."
 
"I will again be writing to senior executives at the BBC and then reporting them to Ofcom if we get no useful reply."
 
Republic set out its complaints to the BBC in more detail at the time of the 2011 wedding and shortly after the 2013 birth of Prince George.
 
Channel 4 Fact Check has claimed that the Crown Estate revenue offsets the cost of the monarchy, even though this is clearly false.  
 
As far as Republic is aware BBC News has largely ignored stories about the removal of homeless people from streets in Windsor, the lack of public interest in the wedding, widespread opposition to tax-funding for the wedding or republican action this weekend.  All these stories have been covered by the press.
 
Republic's previous complaints to the BBC can be found at:
 
www.republic.org.uk/BBC-complaint-2011
www.republic.org.uk/BBC-2011-evidence
www.republic.org.uk/BBC-complaint-2013
 

NOTES
 
Republic will be hosting the International Republican Convention this Saturday, the day of the royal wedding.  Speakers include Tommy Sheppard MP, Emma Dent Coad MP, Jenny Hocking from Australia, representatives from European republican movements and Republic's Graham Smith.
 
The event is open to journalists.  
 
Doors open at 1pm for a 1:30 start.  The convention will be held at:
 
St Bride Foundation
14 Bride Lane
London EC4Y 8EQ
(near Blackfriar's station)

 

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