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Who is biased, the BBC or the viewer?

I suspect I'm in a minority among Nation readers when I admit that I find the continual criticism, and in some cases abuse, aimed at the international media, and in particular the BBC, over their coverage of events in Thailand to be increasingly tedious.

The BBC's correspondent here, Jonathan Head, has recently been improbably described by one contributor to the Letters column as "snickering", which is a new term of abuse that Mr Head can add to an already long list. In truth, however, if Mr Head and the BBC in general were not attracting criticism from one quarter or another, (including successive British governments of different political hues), that would be a sure sign that they were no longer doing their job properly.

They get things wrong from time to time, and the BBC itself does not claim to be infallible, but it guards its independence and will resist any attempt to influence its reporting. Scrutiny of its website clearly indicates that reports on Thailand are factual, and recently Jonathan Head interviewed General Chatchalerm Chalermsukh, a member of the National Council for Peace and Order, thus giving an opportunity for the ruling military junta to put across its message to an international audience.

As a final thought, if some folks are so incensed by what they regard as inaccurate or biased reporting by the BBC, CNN, etc, then for goodness sake avoid putting yourselves under stress - don't watch or listen to their broadcasts. Tune in to something else.

Robin Grant

Bangkok


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