The British Broadcasting Corporation in its role as the UK’s public service broadcaster has a responsibility to the licence paying public to report both domestic and international news in an unbiased and accurate manner.
The current crisis within the world economy dominates the news output on both BBC Radio and television, none more so than on its speech based 24 hour station Radio Five Live.
I don’t suppose the UK is alone in witnessing the tragic loss of famous names in our high streets and malls. Stores like Woolworths which had served generations of families for 99 years.
So what has this to do with the ‘Beeb’? I suggest quite a lot as the broadcaster has to tread a fine line between keeping its audience informed and scaremongering.
Daily we are told of the rising unemployment total, and the latest companies to close or reduce their workforce. So called experts are paraded before us to hand out dire warnings of worse to come.
So what happens? We are scared into putting off that major purchase. We economise and save rather than spend. I know, I‘m doing it myself.
Shop takings fall, their bankers are unwilling to help as they are seen as a bad risk and as a result they go out of business. There follows a knock-on effect as manufacturers and suppliers lose their markets. It’s a vicious circle.
No-one suggests that national broadcasters should withhold information, or select what they tell or don’t tell us. History is littered with the casualties of such policies. They must however be ever aware of the influence they have over the way we act and react.