BBC News was criticised yesterday by Stonewall’s CEO, Ben Summerskill OBE for its lack of coverage of the Parisian ‘Mariage Pour Tous’ (Marriage For All) demonstration which was held in the French capital.
BBC News was criticised yesterday by Stonewall’s CEO, Ben Summerskill for its lack of coverage of the Parisian ‘Mariage Pour Tous’ (Marriage For All) demonstration which was held in the French capital.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Summerskill tweeted:
‘No report at all about gay marriage demos in France on @BBCNews but top of news when anti-gay demos last week.’
His comment received a flurry of re-tweets and responses, some of which questioned whether the BBC was guilty of biased news reporting and being inherently homophobic.
Mr Summerskill continued with,
‘Regret to say that @BBCNews so obviously biased. V easy to say that gay people shouldn’t pay the same as others for such bias – £300m pa!’
Stonewall Media Manager Andy Wasley said:
‘The BBC itself acknowledges concerns among gay people about its news and current affairs coverage. Lesbian, gay and bisexual licence fee payers contribute £300 million to the Corporation’s budget and are entitled to, and expect, accurate and balanced coverage on important issues like equal marriage.’
Gay rights activist Michael O’Toole responded to Mr Summerskill’s tweet, by tweeting ‘@BenSummerskill @BBCNews Do you ever get the feeling that the BBC is not entirely neutral in this debate…’
Mr O’Toole also pointed towards the BBC’s own independent review that acknowledged that the corporation under-reported on LGBT news stories. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20725345
The BBC’s coverage of ‘La Manif Pour Tous’ (Demo For All) was extensive, it included live news feeds and links to previously covered demonstrations against marriage equality and stories of the Pope warning against gay marriage.
A reported 250,000 people gathered in Paris yesterday, as well as thousands in other cities across France, in support of the gay marriage bill – just 100,000 shy of the alleged 340,000 who demonstrated in the anti-gay Demo For All on the 13th January.
On the 7th November 2012, the French President’s (Francois Hollande) government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and to allow gay couples to adopt children.
UK ministers are due to vote on the Equal Marriage bill, which was introduced by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, on the 5th February 2013.
A spokesperson for the BBC said,
“The demonstration in support of gay marriage in Paris yesterday was covered impartially by BBC News in the same way as the demonstration against gay marriage earlier in January. Reports ran on the BBC News Channel, Radio 2 and Radio 4 bulletins and the BBC News website.”