Home Editor's picks BBC takes first step towards admitting shoddy work, accepts error in listing fake news sources

BBC takes first step towards admitting shoddy work, accepts error in listing fake news sources

If Randal himself thought the BBC was akin to the flat earth society, the ones calling the earth round are bound to be denigrated as 'fake news purveyors', innit?

A few days ago, BBC published a research paper on ‘fake news’ that created quite the brouhaha. The research was shoddily done and had several loopholes. From methodology, to sample selection, lack of reliable sources, selectivity and the list is just endless. We did a comprehensive rebuttal of their research here, called out the lies that were peddled by one of their prime sources and spoke about the lack of primary research here and debunked their methodology here.

BBC’s functionaries had tried tooth and nail to defend their research and now, once the three articles are out, there seems to be an eerie silence. One of them had even committed that their research team would draft a full response and that hasn’t happened yet.

However, in private emails, it seems like BBC is beginning to acknowledge its follies. Early morning on 17th November, the founder of TheBetterIndia.com, Dhimant Parekh took to Twitter to publish publicly, BBC acknowledging their error in adding their name to the list of pro-Modi fake news purveyors.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

The Better India primarily publishes reports about whatever good is happening in India, especially in the rural India. Perhaps any good news about rural development under Modi government is by default considered ‘fake news’ by the BBC and their biased sources, as was proven by the fact that BBC included a real news about benefits of the bankruptcy law by Modi government as fake news. Not to mention the fact that they thought that the Hindi word diwalia (bankruptcy) means something related to the festival Diwali.

BBC cited ‘human error’ for adding The Better India to its list of fake news purveyors. Dhimant took to Twitter to mentioned that this reflects poorly on BBC and that they had done a shoddy job in their research. He also demanded a public apology for maligning them.

Dhimant is not wrong. BBC’s functionaries have gone hammer and tongs in public trying to defend their research. They have repeatedly asserted that the lists were collated through sophisticated algorithms and they conducted extensive research. They have stood by their report through the tumultuous 3 days. They should admit the errors in public too and admit that what they did was a shoddy job.

This incident has not only proved the shoddy work by the BBC, but also raises question on their conduct. The starkest shenanigan of the BBC report was that it categorically stated that even handles/portals with “at least one fake news” were added. By that standard, they should have added themselves as well, as we have elucidated before. In fact, we have also written about, in details, how they should have added the very sources that they depended upon to collate these ‘fake news’ lists.

Their definition of Fake News as well was extremely problematic. They have kept no space for journalistic error or reportage of evolving stories that change as and when new information surfaces. They have also made no space for retractions.

The Better India is just one of the examples of how this shoddy research has maligned several people and publications, including OpIndia.com and veteran journalist R Jagannathan and Swati Goel Sharma of the Swarajyamag.com.

Perhaps in the urge to publish a highly skewed political narrative, BBC has chosen to throw caution, diligence and integrity to the wind. However, brick by brick, the facade of credibility is beginning to come undone.

As Jeff Randal, BBC’s own former Business Editor said:

“It’s a bit like walking into a Sunday meeting of the Flat Earth Society. As they discuss great issues of the day, they discuss them from the point of view that the earth is flat.

“If someone says, ‘No, no, no, the earth is round!’, they think this person is an extremist. That’s what it’s like for someone with my right-of-centre views working inside the BBC.”

If Randal himself thought the BBC was akin to the flat earth society, the ones calling the earth round are bound to be denigrated as ‘fake news purveyors’, innit?

Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Election 2019 Live Updates

Track all the updates on one page as the results and trends trickle in

Shehla Rashid remembers 2014, says she had wanted Kejriwal as PM

Shehla Rashid loses it early on counting day, says “Felt like a Muslim when ‘mass murderer’ won in 2014”

As early trends show an NDA victory, Shehla Rashid calls him a mass murderer, says she had wanted Arvind Kejriwal as PM in 2014 and she had felt like a 'Muslim'.

Live updates: According to EC, BJP leading in 299 seats on their own, clocks victory in 2, taking their tally possibly to 301

Latest results, trends, updates, and news about 2019 Lok Sabha election counting. Find out who will form the next government.
NYT peddles Modi 2.0 as victory of India's most divisive leader

Dear New York Times, India has chosen Modi 2.0, deal with it

When India gives a thumping, unprecedented, overwhelming victory to a man who has made every single Indian feel proud of their nation and heritage, the NYT's heartburn is expected. 

The Left has lost its deposit. It is time for the Right to fight Modi

Modi 2.0 heralds a new beginning for India and her people. It must not be allowed to cultivate the habits of Modi 1.0.
Rana Ayyub had a meltdown seeing BJP securing an unprecedented victory

Unprecedented Modi victory triggers meltdown for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

Prospect of a stunning Narendra Modi victory in 2019 Lok Sabha election triggered a mental collapse for controversial journalist Rana Ayyub

IIT graduate and an IAS officer explains in detail why EVMs can’t be ‘hacked’ or ‘tampered’ with

Bhavesh Mishra, IAS 2015 batch, B.Tech IIT Delhi, on Quora gave a detailed explanation regarding why EVMs cannot be 'hacked' or 'tampered' with.

The story of BJP’s rise and rise in West Bengal: The story starts not in 2019 but 2017 Ram Navami

History may remember the 23rd of May, 2019 as the day when the future of Bengal Politics changed forever. However, it was on the 5th of April, 2017, on the auspicious day of Ram Navami that the seeds of it were sown.
Reactions of Liberals after NDA appearing to secure majority

‘Liberals’ have a meltdown as result day trends indicate a massive victory for PM Modi

Trends indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again take an oath for the post of Prime Minister. This has not gone down well with the Liberal intelligentsia and they are losing their cool over this prospect

Kanhaiya Kumar’s family uses LPG stove to prepare for his victory, contrary to his claims just a few weeks ago

Kanhaiya had claimed that his mother cooked on a Chullah and not on an LPG stove as it was not viable because of being too expensive and also exhausted within 3-4 days.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories

Latest articles

Connect with us

164,713FansLike
142,500FollowersFollow
64,613SubscribersSubscribe
Share This Post With Your Friends & Fans: