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Improving the quality of news coverage across the BBC in a devolved UK

Research improves BBC current affairs coverage

Research by the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies found that broadcast news was failing to reflect political devolution which meant that citizens were routinely being misinformed about major areas of policy.

The analysis of over 4,500 news items across BBC outlets as well as ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, found a number of shortcomings in both quality and accuracy of journalism.  The research showed that England was often represented as a stand-in for the UK as a whole and that the distinct policies of devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were rarely acknowledged or discussed.

The findings informed the BBC Trust’s King Report into how the network covered the UK nations and as a result the BBC adopted strategies to improve the accuracy of its coverage.  A further study following this intervention found that BBC news coverage had changed to become more accurate, and better reflect post-devolution politics in the UK.

“…one of the Trust achievements of which I am proud is our decision to require BBC News to dramatically improve its performance in reporting the devolved nations of the UK both to themselves and to one another.” Sir Michael Lyons, BBC Chairman

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