For years, alert social media users had been calling out the bias of prominent left-leaning news outlets. Now prominent personalities have started joining in.
Prasar Bharti CEO Shahshi Shekhar Vempati has declined an offer to attend a BBC event citing its one-sided coverage of the Delhi riots. In a letter written to Tony Hall, the Director-General of the BBC, Vempati said he was thankful for being invited to attend BBC Sportswoman of the Year Awards Night, but said he wouldn’t be able to attend because of the nature of BBC’s coverage. “I must respectfully decline the invitation in view of the recent coverage of the BCC of certain incidents of violence in Delhi,” he wrote in the letter.
“Specifically I would like to draw your attention to a video news report by Ms. Yogita Limaye and others on the Delhi Police on the 3`d March 2020. In the said report certain visuals have been shown of the Delhi Police without context to insinuate communal behavior. Unfortunately nowhere in the entire report have the BBC journalists mentioned the murderous assault on the men in uniform by a mob which resulted in the death of a Head Constable while in the line of duty and also resulted in the fatal injuries received by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in uniform. The report is also damningly silent on the brutal targeted murder of an Intelligence Bureau official through multiple stab wounds numbering in the hundreds who’s only fault was that lie happened to be a resident of the violent hit area. As a fellow Public Broadcaster of global repute, it is dismaying that the BBC has filed such a singularly one-sided version of the incidents of violence in Delhi which rather than help break the cycle of violence has only contributed to further vitiating the atmosphere while insinuating the brave men and women in uniform who are charged with the onerous responsibility of maintaining law and order,” he wrote.
“I strongly believe that as Public Broadcasters, BBC and Prasar Bharati must respect the sovereignty of the Nations we primarily serve even as we collaborate beyond borders on multilateral fora for the greater global good. I hope the BBC would review its editorial views on reports of this nature in line with this spirit,” he continued.
It’s not only in India that the BBC has been accused of left-leaning reporting. In the UK, it has been in the crosshairs of conservative PM Boris Johnson, who has been threatening to do away with the company’s license fee. The BBC is currently funded by the UK taxpayer.