Oldham Sixth Form College


Media bias in the UK

Media bias in the UK

By Niamh Roberts

Within UK media and politics almost everything is innately biased: making it hard to navigate what sources to believe and what to avoid, which  becomes a severe problem to the UK's democracy when free media no longer exists. From The Sun's claim of controlling elections, to wealthy families like the Murdochs donating funds to their preferred political parties. Has journalism lost its integrity? That's a debatable inquiry however it would be truthful to say we are living in a time defined by fake news!

Central to the media bias in the UK is the one sided perspective  companies present through campaigns, social media, broadcast and headlines. In recent years companies that have been brought under scrutiny for such bias involve The Sun, The Daily Mail and most surprising of them all the BBC. The BBC have built a reputation for being the most trustworthy media source in the UK, used by Labour supporters and Conservative voters alike which could have positive implications as people from different political backgrounds can be exposed to diverse coverage however it's the BBC’s commonality that makes it the most influential.  Some feel that, when looking at news coverage from the BBC there is a fairly narrow perspective being presented with the the vast majority of reports being centered around the white middle classes or those resident in London as said by OfCom:

People from a minority group – whether a distinct region of the country or a particular ethnicity – feel that they are neutrally portrayed at best, or negatively at worst. These are challenges the whole industry can – and must – address.

The implications of this could be disenfranchising those not represented and creating an apathy around politics- maintaining biased government ideologies and a divided Britain. 

Media bias in the UK can often be seen as a left vs right conflict, with The Daily Mail and Express, The Sun, Fox news and the Telegraph aligning with the Conservative party and their policies. However left bias is not to be unrecognized - where some may argue its a justifiable counterweight to right wing attacks others may say its plain and simple hypocrisy.

The art of impartiality is at risk of being eliminated in the UK and as consumers of mass media we must be vigilant. Even with political parties moving to a more central standpoint, their agendas are enforced through biased media campaigns, especially as we near a general election. In a world of ever advancing technology, it's not easy to protect ourselves from fake news. It can't be deemed as acceptable to let so-called “trusted” media outlets spew their biases through media propaganda. As citizens of the UK under the Human Right Act we all have a right to think, to make decisions and to make these decisions on our own conclusions!