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Reply from BBC on "clashes on both sides"

(42 Posts)
Binglebong Thu 25-Oct-18 10:25:08

Got a reply from the BBC about a complaint.

Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC One's 'BBC News at Six' on 18 October.

We understand you feel the report on transgender laws implicated women’s rights campaigners with violent behaviour.

Thanks for rising these concerns. Looking at the report, on the Hyde Park and Bristol 'clashes', we have already indicated that the subject is 'highly controversial' and that the 'trans debate' has become a 'bitter and divided one'. The report hears from Jess Phillips, MP, who says that concerns expressed about the impact on women's refuges and prisons are 'perfectly reasonable questions'. Looking at wider reports in the press, they report on incidents taking place on both sides so 'clashes' would reflect the events in that context.

That said, we value your feedback about this issue. All complaints are sent to senior management and programme teams 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.

ILuvBirdsEye Thu 25-Oct-18 10:27:12

Looking at wider reports in the press, they report on incidents taking place on both sides for example?

BeerAndBassGuitars Thu 25-Oct-18 10:42:08

Except that the 'clashes' are unequal.

Endofthelinefinally Thu 25-Oct-18 10:46:20

Was that the report that showed footage of people in dresses beating up other people? Without any comment regarding the biological sex of the people in dresses doing the actual violence?
I was a bit taken aback watching that.

selfidentifyinggiraffe Thu 25-Oct-18 10:54:12

Hasn't reece Lyons now dropped out of his woman with a penis dancing for safety reasons?

Imnobody4 Thu 25-Oct-18 10:58:23

I wrote to complain specifically about suicide stats(trying to focus on specific issues). I had asked if this issue had been discussed by editors as it has happened several times. Got this reply, am going back with fact that they are not treating Stonewall as a lobby group.If anyone else has references for use of these stats it would help.
I understand you felt that Dawn Simms’ comments about transgender suicide rates should have been challenged during her interview on 18 October.

In a fast-flowing interview situation, it may not always be possible for an interviewer to cross-check every statement and claim that is made by a guest. Our coverage is intended to be balanced and informative in the long run - where issues can be examined in more depth, when time and research permits further analysis over weeks and months.

The figures quoted here were in line with recent reports from the UK’s leading LGBT rights charity, and while I appreciate you feel these assertions should have been challenged, the aim of this interview was not to dissect suicide rates among trans people. The focus here was on the issues raised in the debate about the GRA consultation, and Ms Simms was asked to respond to some concerns that have been raised around self-identification.

It was put to Ms Simms that that women who have survived sexual attacks are also going through a difficult mental journey, and that this should be taken into consideration in potential changes to women’s spaces. She was also asked whether the public were adequately informed on the issue, what she thought of the GRA consultation questions, and what the process of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate was like for her.

With regards to ‘appropriate scrutiny’, this doesn’t mean that every point made by any interviewee or contributor must be dissected, but that, taking into account the context of the discussion and the role of the interviewee, our interviewers should seek answers that inform the audience.

Please be assured that your comments have been circulated to the producers of this broadcast, as well as senior management within BBC News, on our daily feedback report.

VickyEadie Thu 25-Oct-18 11:11:30

I wrote to complain about the fact that in their discussion on Breakfast of 'Butterfly', they only had the writer plus Susie Green and a TRA to talk about it. Got this:

"I understand you felt the discussion of the ITV series ‘Butterfly’ was unbalanced and should have included someone against gender transition in children.

This was not a debate or factual report but a discussion of a TV series. We heard from the programme’s writer, the CEO of Mermaids UK, and an author whose experience was similar to that of the programme’s protagonist.

While we would of course aim to reflect a range of viewpoints over time, this does not mean that every discussion relating to transgender issues needs to include someone against confirmation. Again, this was a conversation informing viewers about a new television series, and not a factual report on gender dysphoria."

In other words, we just brought on people who would say how 'realistic' it was.

Binglebong Thu 25-Oct-18 11:20:23

They really are missing the point. All of the points.

Ereshkigal Thu 25-Oct-18 11:40:38

Where is the discussion of gender critical feminism that doesn't include some dismissive TRA?

arranfan Thu 25-Oct-18 11:51:45

while I appreciate you feel these assertions should have been challenged, the aim of this interview was not to dissect suicide rates among trans people. The focus here was on the issues raised in the debate about the GRA consultation, and Ms Simms was asked to respond to some concerns that have been raised around self-identification.

I'm getting to the point where I think we're in need of rolling reminders of the BBC/whomever's avowed scope and remit at the foot of the item in any vaguely current affairs/news item. In the same way that adverts can't state something without including footer text that explains the context/survey/whatever - it's becoming too important to know what the scope and remit is and that nobody stands behind any of the figures being cited and the BBC/whomever feels it isn't their role to challenge them.

That and experiment with something along the lines of the Jay Rosen Simple Fix for Messed Up Sunday Shows:

(Sadly, original no longer available but this later version is good.)

R0wantrees Thu 25-Oct-18 12:05:30

this thread has collated some of the examples.
Its worth updating:

AbsintheFriends Thu 25-Oct-18 12:24:54

Sharing these responses is really exposing the BBC as an intellectually bankrupt organisation. No trace of honesty or self-examination at all.

I have never once seen them do anything other than strongly imply the complainer is wrong. When lined up, their responses actually start to sound a little gaslighty...

HawkeyeInConfusion Thu 25-Oct-18 12:42:37

The BBC is still pondering over my complaint about the online newsbeat article last week. They have said it may take a bit longer than usual to respond.

FermatsTheorem Thu 25-Oct-18 13:04:20

Might be worth seeing if you can dig out how the BBC covered Charlottesville and Trump's appalling "violence on both sides" crap. If they had any op-eds showing that they'd drawn attention to Trump's egregious use of false equivalence, send this to them as a follow-up and ask why they're not applying the same editorial standards to their coverage of trans issues and physical violence by trans activists versus no violence whatsoever by GC feminsts.

FleetsumNJetsum Fri 26-Oct-18 17:14:57

Ofcom said it had noted an increase in the proportion of panel-style current affairs programmes shown on BBC TV which it said “do not tend to reflect in-depth investigative journalism”.

“The BBC has a particular responsibility here, given its remit, and can provide an important counterbalance to news accessed through social media.

“We think there is value in looking further at how the BBC provides depth of analysis and range of content in its news and current affairs across its TV, radio and online platforms.”

We should send Ofcom to the BBC Bias thread...

AspieAndProud Fri 26-Oct-18 17:27:16

Except that the 'clashes' are unequal.

I’ve heard that a notorious feminist viciously assaulted a TRAs fist with her chin.

Charliethefeminist Fri 26-Oct-18 20:44:11

we would of course aim to reflect a range of viewpoints over time

This is the get out clause
1 it doesn't say a balanced range
2 it doesn't say over what period of time

So one 30 second soundbite with Julie Bindel next March would qualify

You could write back and ask them to confirm they aim for balance

One must always escalate, but there's no question now that its engaged in deliberate transactivism

(ps AllAboutTrans had an 'interaction' ie super cosy access/face to face chat with the Head of Complaints about four years ago. Seems to have been phenomenally productive. That, plus Editorial Policy's multiple meetings with trans lobbyists, and the Head of Diversity's regular meetings with the fragrant Helen Belcher - there's really no respect at all at the BBC for women without penises.

PencilsInSpace Fri 26-Oct-18 21:59:38

We need to expose this 'both sides' thing for the bullshit it is. If you have the energy please escalate this:

What if I’m dissatisfied with the BBC's reply?

Please contact us in writing and explain why, either online or by post within 20 working days and quoting your case number. We’ll reply again, this time usually within 20 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied you may be able escalate to the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) at stage 2. If so we’ll tell you how. For full information please read the BBC Complaints Framework.

BBC send you through a convoluted 2 stage internal complaints procedure before you're allowed to go to Ofcom. That's why they get away with so much more shit than other broadcasters*. People just give up.

Let's not give up, let's pursue BBC complaints as far as we need to. If that results in a flood of complaints to Ofcom about the BBC then that is newsworthy. If Ofcom fail to act on those complaints that is even more newsworthy.

Why the fuck are the BBC given 2 extra layers of protection before we can go to Ofcom? Why are we trusting them to do their own homework? Especially in light of the things we have recently learnt about BBC culture and the types of abuse that has facilitated. Over decades.

It's worth reading the BBC Complaints Framework (PDF) if you have time. If not, the basic rules are:

- stick to the points you made in your original complaint
- explain how the response does not satisfy your complaint, e.g. doesn't address the points raised, proposed solution is inadequate, raises further issues wrt women and girls' rights, child safeguarding ...
- stick to the deadlines.

Keep an eye on whether the BBC and Ofcom stick to their own deadlines. If they don't, or if they breach their own complaints procedures in any way, pull them up on it and keep a record.

* If you have complaints about other broadcasters, e.g. Butterfly on ITV, you can go straight to Ofcom - copy the broadcaster in if you're feeling polite but don't fuck about, escalate complaints as far as you can, as soon as you can.

PencilsInSpace Fri 26-Oct-18 22:03:47

If you can post the text of your original complaint, or a summary, I'm happy to help with a next stage letter over the weekend.

Binglebong Sat 27-Oct-18 00:22:22

Here you are:

Complaint Summary: Severe bias suggesting both sides were violent.

Full Complaint: On a report on gender reassignment (nice to finally see it reported) the sentence "Those with opposing views have clashed" was used over images of violent assaults. However these were not clashes, these were acts of intimidation and violence aimed at preventing peaceful meetings to discuss potential law changes that would affect women. All of these incidents, which in one case has resulted in a conviction, were perpetrated by the pro transgender rights side. In addition Dr Nicola William's title was missed out on her caption, I hope this was a mistake and not an attempt to minimise the intellectual abilities of the pro women side.

Binglebong Sat 27-Oct-18 00:22:35


zzzzz Sat 27-Oct-18 01:07:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BettyFloop Sat 27-Oct-18 01:26:08

We need to step up our complaints (with thanks to Pencils and Binglebong )
The BBC are no longer reporting accurately or dispassionately. Actually, the BBC are now redundant in news/current affairs reporting.

FadingMint Sat 27-Oct-18 01:38:44

The formality of recording a crime as a male or female crime according to how the accused identifies, rather than by their physical, biological human body in reality, is a lie and a travesty.
A crime carried out by men wearing dresses and high heels does not become a crime carried out by women.

Woman does not equal dresses and high heels.


PencilsInSpace Sat 27-Oct-18 09:49:23

Thank you for your response to my complaint. Unfortunately this fails to address the points I have raised.

The subject of the proposed amendments to the GRA may be 'highly controversial' however that is irrelevant to the point I made, namely that all the acts of violence and intimidation in this 'bitter and divided' debate have been perpetrated by one side - the pro transgender rights activists.

It's good to hear that Jess Phillips believes women are raising 'perfectly reasonable questions', however this also does nothing to address the severe bias in your reporting which erroneously suggested that women's groups have been violent and intimidatory.

You state that the press have reported on incidents on 'both sides' yet fail to provide any evidence of this. Please provide details of which violent and intimidatory 'incidents' have been carried out by women's groups.

I reiterate my complaint, that this news report was severely biased and wrongly suggested that both sides were violent when this is not the case.

Finally, you have failed to address my point that Dr Nicola Williams was not afforded the respect of being captioned with her full title.

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