BBC Takes Six Months To Not Really Criticize Its WiFi Scaremongering Report

from the that's-the-best-you-can-do? dept

You may recall that back in May the BBC's "Panorama" TV show was accused of running a scaremongering TV program about the supposed "dangers" of WiFi on children. There were numerous problems with the program, from bad science to bad reporting. You would think that the BBC might take those sorts of accusations seriously. Apparently, it was enough for the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit to take a look at the issue. It took the ECU six months, but its report is out and it admits that Panorama made some mistakes, but really only cops to one particular mistake: that it presented the one dissenter on the program in a very biased light. It doesn't seem to say anything about the fact that a major source for the program happens to sell equipment designed to test how much "radiation" there is as well as products of questionable scientific value to "protect" you from such radiation (radiation protecting beekeeper hat anyone?). The whole thing was such a joke that even the kids in the school where some of the program was filmed pointed out how unscientific the experiment was. Unfortunately, the BBC doesn't seem to address any of that in its review of the program at all. Perhaps we'll need to wait another six months.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    SteveD, Dec 3rd, 2007 @ 2:28pm

    No longer headline worthy

    That series of Panorama was utterly dire, with the producers taking it down a disastrous tabloid-newspaper style of reporting, looking for shock-value above real content.

    Unfortunately the John Sweeny+Scientology disaster utterly eclipsed the wi-fi fuss, and since then the BBC has had so many major scandels that no one really cares anymore. I'd be surprised if this gets any coverage at all in the mainstream press.

    Which is a shame, as Panorama used to be an excellent series.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    yogi, Dec 3rd, 2007 @ 10:14pm

    The only terrible thing is that the BBC

    is still being funded by the British taxpayer.
    Under these conditions it can do anything it wants without any reprecussions - it does not have to adhere to any journalistic standard and, in fact, it does not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    SteveD, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 12:54am

    Nosence

    Sorry mate, but thats rubbish. Saying the BBC doesn't have journalistic standards because its payed for by the licence fee is like saying newspapers don't have journalistic standards because people buy them in shops. At the end of they day are are answerable to someone; their customers!

    The BBC has taken a huge ammount of flak lately, and been the subject of a number of external investigations. Following this it lost its bid for a higher licence fee and as a result had to start making serious budget cuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 4:57am

      Re: Nosence

      "Sorry mate, but thats rubbish. Saying the BBC doesn't have journalistic standards because its payed for by the licence fee is like saying newspapers don't have journalistic standards because people buy them in shops. At the end of they day are are answerable to someone; their customers!"

      But there's the problem the BBC is a legally enforced stealth tax/subscription that many, including myself, do not need nor want in the UK. As such the BBC can, and does, get away with just about anything.

      What are you going to do? Not pay your TV Tax? If you do that you can expect the TV Tax enforcement agents of the BBC, also know as Capita, to send thugs to your property to force you to pay for an outdated, poorly managed, scandolous, dire and uncompetitive service.

      The BBC license needs to be abolished and the BBC funded through clear advertisement, note I said clear because it is ALREADY paid in part by advertisments/sponsors, and/or an opt-in subscription service.

      But then why would the BBC want the above, they get billions of pounds for free with the current model.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        SteveD, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 5:58am

        Re: Re: Nosence

        So your problem isn't so much that the Beeb has low standards (when it really doesn't), but you have to pay a licence fee to watch TV in the UK?

        Sheesh. Throw out and stream all your telly if its that big an issue.

        And Dave, maybe its about time you stopped beliving in conspiracy theories and did some research of your own. The physics behind this stuff isn't exactly complex; read some A-Level books on the electromagnetic spectrum and it'll all be put in context.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    dave, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 3:25am

    based on truth

    it may not adhere to whatever rules documentary makers play by (hi, michael moore) but it goes without saying that there are a grwat many people affected by the issues. The BBC has a special place in the UK psyche. If you watch or listen to other channels they are only as good as they are because they have to compete with the beeb. it is a part of our heritage and should continue to stay that way.
    The wifi issue is precarious. Various scientists (from both sides can prove whatever they want). The UK Govt has been given 40 billion in revenues from phone companies. It is my belief that when this amount of money is involved you shouldnt believe what you here from the industry side.
    The German govt however, has issued warnings to its citizens about the dangers of wifi. A recent australian survey has linked mobile phone use by children to autism.

    in the 1950's doctors advised people to smoke. we used asbestos to roof our buildings. Therefore decision makers do make mistakes. i will not have wifi in the house - all the kids switch their mobile phones off at night.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    AG, Dec 4th, 2007 @ 10:24am

    Why criticize itself

    From the point of view of the BBC, the Panorama program in question was perfect.

    Like most of the so-called reporting that is presented on the BBC, the true aim is stealth propaganda against evil corporations and those dastardly capitalists. With an underlying message that more govt. regulations are needed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This