The BBC in its Annual Plan states that one of its aims is to challenge ‘fake news’. All well and good but the BBC needs to start in-house and root out fake news in its own reports.
There have been numerous occasions when presenters have themselves referred to the need for 300,000 houses to be built each year or when people being interviewed have stated ‘we need 300,000 houses’ and have not been challenged.
As we have stated on various occasions the 300,000 figure is incorrect. Ian Mulheirn has comprehensively demolished the arguments supporting the 300,000 figure, yet the BBC persist in trotting it out as if it were correct.
The 300,000 figure is a prime example of ‘fake news’!
BBC News is also taking the lead on challenging ‘fake news’. We will look for new ways to open up behind-the-scenes decisions, e.g. by sharing editorial discussions on air, or covering issues like running order choices or why and when contested terms are not used. We will also challenge misleading accusations and engage more openly with critics on social media, as well as address and correct errors in real-time.
We have also launched a new project supporting young people to identify real news and filter out false information. The project is targeted at secondary schools and sixth forms across the UK, with all schools having access to free online materials, classroom activities, video tutorials, and an interactive game developed by the world-famous Aardman studio, where the player can experience being a BBC journalist in the heart of the newsroom. Up to 1,000 schools are also being offered mentoring – in class, online, or at events – from BBC journalists such as Huw Edwards, Tina Daheley, Nikki Fox, Kamal Ahmed and Amol Rajan.
BBC ANNUAL PLAN 2018/19, March 2018