To BBC Chairman, Michael Grade
CC. BBC Director General, Mark Thompson and Editor of the BBC Ten O'Clock News, Kate McAndrew
Re: complaint about BBC 10 o'clock news Friday 12 May
I am writing to make a formal complaint about the BBC 10 o'clock News coverage of the House of Lords debate on Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill on Friday 12 May.
The Care Not Killing Alliance had over ten different spokespeople involved during the day on BBC programmes and in general we felt the BBC news coverage of the event (especially Radio 4, 5 Live and BBC News 24) was fair and balanced giving both sides of the debate and a good overview of the issues.
By contrast the 10 o'clock news programme, especially the two-way between Fiona Bruce and Fergus Walsh, was superficial, unfair, factually inaccurate, poorly researched, one-sided and ultimately unprofessional. I have appended a transcript of the coverage with inserted comments to amplify our concerns, but our general complaints are as follows:
In giving comments, Fergus Walsh's own personal sympathy with the pro-euthanasia lobby was clearly evident and he seemed to have no knowledge of issues raised in the debate during the day. He is of course entitled to his personal convictions, but as a BBC employee should not allow these to detract from giving an objective and balanced account of the issues.
Specifically we would ask for:
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Care Not Killing