The BBC implies that only economic growth can create jobs. | Brussels Blog

The BBC implies that only economic growth can create jobs.

posted by on 8th Dec 2014
8th,Dec

This is a boring piece on my complaints to the BBC –
I wouldn’t read it – but it’s now public and the topic important.

The BBC supports “economic growth” and implies growth is the only way of
creating jobs: No mention of the damage “growth” does to the climate
or other ways of creating jobs.

The BBC asks for a example of where it never says this (???) –
Logicians and lawyers may read on.

The BBC imply: Only economic growth can create jobs.

…Sunday 5th October… CAS-2951985-CXGM61 …Complaint

All major political parties and business are pushing for economic growth. This is reported widely on the BBC and in other media.

The BBC has extensive coverage of business and presents economic growth as essential for the creation of jobs. The BBC also promotes economic growth as “good thing”. Every hour of every day there is business news: Climate news is much rarer and of mixed quality (I will make a separate complaint on this.) There is hardly any mention of the fact that economic growth brings more environmental hazards, such as greenhouse gas emissions, except occasionally that “green growth” is a possibility.

By leaving the underlying assumption that jobs depend only on growth, the BBC is promoting a falsehood. The green agenda is being buried by growth propaganda. “Public purposes: Sustaining citizenship and civil society” says “You can trust the BBC to provide high-quality news, current affairs and factual programming that keeps you informed and supports debate about important issues and political developments in an engaging way.”

In leaving the public ill-informed the BBC is failing its guidelines. For background see:

Job creation doesn’t need economic growth

Greenwash from Stern?

Public purposes: Sustaining citizenship and civil society”

… Monday 6th October… CAS-2954926-6XZMFL… Reply

Thanks for contacting us.

I understand you feel the BBC is reporting that all major political parties and business are pushing for economic growth but fail to mention that economic growth brings more environmental hazards such as greenhouse gas emissions. I also note your comments that by leaving the underlying assumption that jobs depend only on growth the BBC is promoting a falsehood.

The time given to each issue or report in the news is frequently a very difficult decision for our editors. Our audiences don’t look at events in the same way and there’s no one universal news agenda that applies to all. The time given has to be selective and no matter how carefully such decisions are made, news editors are always aware that some people may disagree with them.

Essentially this is a judgement call rather than an exact science but BBC News does appreciate the feedback when viewers and listeners feel we may have neglected a story or focused too much on a particular story or item.

Thank you again for contacting us, we value your feedback about BBC News. All complaints are sent to senior management and programme makers every morning and I included your points in this overnight report. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future programmes.

BBC: Lack of clarity in a complaints response

Monday 6th October… CAS-2954926-6XZMFL.. Complaint

I have received a response from BBC Complaints.

I would like to know if “Essentially this is a judgement call rather than an exact science” refers to

1. “economic growth brings more environmental hazards”

2. “leaving the underlying assumption that jobs depend only on growth the BBC is promoting a falsehood”

Why do you dispute either of these statements? At a pinch (1) could be a “judgement call” for there are cases where this might not be true but in general it is the case that economic growth brings more environmental hazards.

In the case of (2), you can only be correct by refusing to classify economics as an “exact science”. I would appreciate a resonse that indicated if you assert this. Is it possible for you to consult one of the BBC’s economics experts?

…Wednesday 26th November… CAS-2954926-6XZMFL… Reply

Thank you for your further contact and we’re sorry our original response didn’t address all of your concerns.

We would only mention environmental issues during a report on business/economic issues, if it was relevant to that particular report.

At this point I would like to draw your attention to our Complaints framework:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/complaints framework/

It states that we can only investigate complaints when we are given a specific example of when a said incident occurred on output produced by the BBC. If you would like to give us a specific example of a story on economic growth that we covered (transmission date, programme etc), where you feel it would have been relevant to the story to mention environmental issues, we can investigate and respond in detail.

Most news stories have links to many other/broader issues, which would only be mentioned if relevant to the central issue of the news story.

Inconsistency in previous response

…Sunday 7th December… Complaint

I have received an answer (to complaints CAS-2951985-CXGM61 and CAS-2954926-6XZMFL), which says “we can only investigate complaints when we are given a specific example of when a said incident occurred on output produced by the BBC.”

There is a “Complaint category: Not enough coverage.”

My complaint is that I cannot find coverage of “the fact that economic growth brings more environmental hazards”. How can I give a specific example of “no coverage”?

I also cannot find coverage of the fact that economic growth is not essential for job creation, when BBC coverage constantly implies the opposite.

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