`A section of media not co-operating’
27th April 2010: Just before the general elections, the British National Party has indicated that a section of media — including the BBC — has been less co-operative this year. The party rather blamed the BBC for stepping up “its bias”.
While Channel 4 has demanded its television election broadcast be censored, the BBC too “wanted a few petty edits”, party leader Nick Griffin said.
“The BBC has also been less than co-operative this year, in contrast to previous years,” Griffin asserted.
The BNP leader further asserted this was to be expected after the publicly-funded corporation stepped up its bias and smears against the BNP in the last week.
Elaborating, he said the broadcast was approved by the BBC on Tuesday last week. But on Friday, they decided that they wanted a few petty edits, such as more blurring of people’s faces on street scenes.
The late timing of the changes was obviously designed to make it as difficult as possible for the BNP to make the changes, Griffin alleged, adding their people stayed up all night and made the slight technical changes, and made the broadcast deadline once again.
The BNP said all the TV stations approved the broadcast, except Channel 4 which demanded new edits on Monday, a few hours before the broadcast time.
These demands are of course impossible to fulfill at this late stage and Channel 4 has effectively censored the BNP broadcast by refusing to let it be aired. “It is obviously a political decision, because they were very abusive and rude to our staff member who dealt with the broadcast,” added Griffin. He reiterated that jars of marmite were never included in the BNP’s TV broadcast.
Already, media workers and students opposed to racism and fascism have join hands to “Expose the BNP”. The campaign aims at revealing the “undemocratic and racist nature of the British National Party”.
The new campaign aims to investigate and challenge the BNP’s attempts to construct a respectable public image, and to support media workers who refuse to work on programmes or material that break the reporting guidelines laid down by media trade unions.
Deputy general secretary of the National Union of Journalists Michelle Stanistreet said: Journalists have a duty to hold up to the closest scrutiny the claims and activities of those who would foment racial tension and violence. The BNP’s inflammatory rhetoric about immigration cannot be taken at face value.
Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu, the media and entertainment union, said: The BNP is not a legitimate political party. Its policies are directly opposed to the democratic principles which underpin our multi-cultural society and those policies should not be given airtime.
Peter Hain said: It is vital that journalists take a robust approach to the BNP. It was an outrage that the BBC gave the fascist, racist BNP the credibility they craved by inviting Nick Griffin onto Question Time. In the event, it became a shameful circus that boosted the far right party, and short-term BBC ratings.
An official press release said: The vast majority of those who work in the media are opposed to the BNP’s divisive politics, which are based on hate and violence.
In the run up to the general election and beyond, “EXPOSE” will provide well-researched information and background briefings for reporters, news editors and others in the industry in order to challenge the BNP’s statements and spokespersons, and the racism and criminality at the heart of their organisation.