The Daily Express has tried to dish the dirt on the BBC in an article on EU funding, by revealing information that has been on the BBC website for a year.
In its article titled BRUSSELS BROADCASTING CORPORATION? THE EU MILLIONS BEING BANKED BY THE IMPARTIAL BBC, the paper tries to claim the corporation’s impartiality has been compromised by £2.3 million of EU funding over the past three years.
The paper calls the amount of money ‘worryingly large’ although it amounts to less than 0.1% of the money the BBC receives each year from the license fee.
The BBC has information about the external funding on its website. None of the money has gone towards its public service news programmes, which are not allowed funding from external sources.
EU funding has been granted in three areas:
BBC Media Action – an independent charity focusing on international development set up by the BBC, which receives 5% of its funding from the EU.
Research and Development – the BBC received an EU grant of £472,197 towards research into broadcasting technologies.
Independent production companies – around 2% of companies that have produced programmes (mostly drama-based) for the BBC have received EU grants towards their budgets, averaging around 6% of the overall programme budget in each case.
So all that’s happened is our state-run broadcaster has received a bit of money from the EU media budget, which it is perfectly entitled to and has been completely transparent about. Surely it would be a bigger scandal if the UK hadn’t received this money, given our EU contributions?
Would the Daily Express prefer it if the Beeb got nothing? No doubt it would then run a front-page headline UNELECTED EUROCRATS STARVE OUR MEDIA WHILE YOUR MONEY FUNDS TV STATIONS ABROAD.
No, the Daily Express has cynically brought this up in a cheap attempt to accuse the BBC of pro-EU bias. It’s a surreal stance to take – complain that we pay millions a week to the EU and get nothing back, while simultaneously denouncing those that do get something back as being biased towards the EU.
It’s also interesting that the Daily Express has attacked another news outlet on its stance over the EU in a week when it has been sanctioned not once but twice by IPSO for ‘seriously inaccurate information’ on the EU.
An investigation into the impartiality of the Daily Express – now that would be interesting.
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