Notes from the 1st TE&M Forum
FREEEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Questions for consideration during the first session on 11th of May were:
- Is our media open, balanced and unbiased or are we following a prescribed agenda?
- Do we have full access to open and balanced debate on crucial issues with full access to information and balanced arguments?
The summary of comments were:
- The Forum accepted that a degree of bias in the media is inevitable but there is a real need for greater balance.
- TV interviewers often exhibit poor listening skills and a lack of courtesy and good manners. They are focused on delivering their pre-prepared questions, rather than maximising the contribution of the interviewees.
- There is a lack of balanced argument and information, against which people can make up their own mind.
- There is a need for more public pressure on the media to make them more aware of the disconnect they have with the wider public and their priorities, rather than those promoted by pressure groups..
- The media responds to pressure groups out of laziness as the most convenient view that is aligned with their own position.
- TV commentary and discussion is based on delivering quantity and repetition, rather than the quality of content.
- Whilst the BBC has high quality world services it also exhibits all of the above weaknesses in delivery of entertainment and political programming
- If the BBC is to continue as a publicly funded broadcaster there is a need for its charter to be re-visited, so that it becomes a more representative organisation. It should be mandated to deliver high quality, unbiased and informative programmes, geared to educating, informing and encouraging personal decision making.