Matrix Database: The Top 20

The Matrix Database is an effort to document personal factors that undermine powerful journalists’ claims of objectivity and impartiality. We are on the lookout for significant conflicts of interest and likely causes of bias/imbalance along the most high-profile political and opinion journalists in the UK – and we’ve found plenty!

We have now completed the entries for the “top 20” UK journalists (ranked by Twitter following). Our results for the “top 20” are as follows:

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Newsnight Editors Think Description of Jeremy Corbyn as “Hard Left” is Fair and Accurate!

Last autumn we wrote to the BBC to complain about Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis using the term “hard left” three times in one programme to refer to a sector of the Labour Party. On one occasion she explicitly identified Jeremy Corbyn as a member of the “hard left”.

Thousands of you supported our complaint on social media with shares and comments.

We have now received a response from the BBC and warn you in advance that it is likely to raise your blood pressure! According to the BBC, “‘hard left’ was used to simply indicate where it is generally perceived those opposed to the proposals (from Keir Starmer) are on the political spectrum”. This was, according to the BBC, “a fair reflection on the tensions within the Labour Party”.

The BBC insist that “your concerns have been seen by senior Newsnight editors”. Does this imply that Newsnight’s top editors believe that it is fair and accurate to describe Jeremy Corbyn as “hard left”!?

We disagree and decided to escalate our complaint to the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit…

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Complaint Against Kuenssberg: The BBC Respond (at last!)

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We have pursued the BBC for the best part of a year now in search of a response to Laura Kuenssberg’s coverage of Keir Starmer’s decision to deny the parliamentary whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

Kuenssberg’s report on the issue was arguably the climax (nadir?) of the media’s long campaign, in conjunction with centrist Labour MPs and more or less the entire British establishment, to discredit and smear Corbyn.

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Complaint to the BBC on Newsnight’s “Hard Left” Slur

Not the first time Newsnight have misrepresented Jeremy Corbyn

We write to complain about non-impartial use of language during the Newsnight programme broadcast on the 21st of September 2021.

On three occasions the presenter of the show, Emily Maitlis, used the term “hard left” to refer to a sector of the Labour Party, inferring then making explicit that Jeremy Corbyn belongs to said “hard left”.

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Complaint Against Kuenssberg – Escalated!

It is now over seven months since we complained to the BBC about Laura Kuenssberg’s appalling coverage of Keir Starmer’s decision to deny the parliamentary whip to Jeremy Corbyn (News at Ten, 17/11/2020).

The BBC’s initial reply referred to a different article to the one we’d complained about (!!) and flatly denied Laura Kuenssberg had stated “When the (EHRC) report came out, Mr Corbyn said it had been exaggerated.”

We replied with a link to the correct article, attributed to Laura Kuenssberg, which unequivocally states “When the report came out, Mr Corbyn suggested it had all been exaggerated.” (underline shows that what Laura K said was even worse than what the BBC denied she’d said!)

We then heard nothing from the BBC for…3 months. When we chased them we were told they “hadn’t received” our response and were sent two further letters blaming a subsequent delay in responding on Covid.

We thought we’d update you on what has happened since and our escalation of the complaint. Full transparency and social media support for the complaint can only help so we’d appreciate any shares of this article – especially on social media with @BBCNEWS tagged in!

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No Go Area: The Daily Mail and Islamophobia

With a GB News presenter describing England fans who boo taking to the knee as “not racist”, and the MailOnline labelling towns in Britain with Muslim communities as “no-go areas for white people,” British media is becoming more weighted to the right, setting a dangerous precedent for Islamophobia and racism to thrive, writes Free Press guest contributor Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead.

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Anyone But England: Is the Media to Blame?

Scotland and Wales may be out of Euro 2020 but the tournament is far from over for many of their fans. There’s plenty still to root for – every remaining team that plays against England!

According to a YouGov poll carried out in 2018 “15 per cent of (Scottish) football fans say they will support the England team…while 28 per cent will back any country playing against them”.

Both founders of The Free Press are from Scotland and we can tell you that those numbers are probably a significant underestimate of Anyone But England (ABE) sentiment above the border.

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It’s a Man’s Game: Female Objectification at the Euros

Euro 2020 is up and running, a year late and with the usual gloss of corporate marketing and largely sterile games.

Diversity is to the fore of this year’s event. Players take the knee before matches (sometimes to boos, nice one England!) while UEFA’s official site promotes #equalgame, with Chelsea Ladies player Pernille Harder flying the flag for women’s football.

The Free Press would suggest that you do not need to look far beneath the surface to see that football is still very much a “man’s game”.

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