BBC fails rural viewers

A report on the BBC‘s rural coverage has revealed the organisation is failing rural viewers, including shooters.

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Heather Hancock, who led the independent review commissioned by the BBC Trust, revealed an metropolitan bias, stating that it was “impartial” overall but was gave “undue weight” to a small number of organisations, resulting in an “unintentional urban bias in network news coverage.”

The report found that rural economic and social issues were glossed over, with a partiality for environmental stories, presenting an unbalanced view of rural communities. Since the position of full-time senior rural affairs editor was dissolved, many have suggested reinstatement of the position would address this deficit.

BASC widely welcomed the report, but questioned whether it would definitely lead to executive action. Richard Ali said: “The BBC now need to ensure rural life is better represented. Agenda-setting news desks in London need to see further and reach out to properly reflect rural life.”

The report was also addressed by the Countryside Alliance; executive chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner said that a “less simplistic view of rural affairs” would be appreciated, and that programmes should be “broadcast for those who live in the country as well as those who use it”.

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