BBC news branded too London specific by its governing body

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London, June 12 : The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) political coverage is biased in favour of stories about England, with an overemphasis on Westminster.

As quoted in the Scotsman.com News, a review for the BBC Trust said the corporation was "falling short of its own high standards" and "failing to meet its core purpose of informing democracy".

The study was commissioned by the Trust - the corporation's governing body - after complaints that too many news stories were relevant only to England.

The study found that 37 per cent of the viewers thought BBC news reports were often not relevant to where they lived.

The report stated political coverage was seen as unduly focused on Westminster and referred to a "general bias" towards stories about England or telling stories from an English perspective. The report included an assessment by Anthony King, professor of government at the University of Essex, and research from Cardiff University.

Academics studied the accuracy and impartiality of network coverage of the four nations particularly on devolution during the English local elections and national elections in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in spring 2007.

Professor King found many people in London and the south of England appeared unaware of the scale of changes taking place elsewhere in the UK.

An analysis of BBC network news and current affairs programmes over a four-week period last year by Cardiff University found 19 per cent of stories involving or relating to devolution were vague and confusing and, of 136 stories about health and education, all of them dealt with England alone.

The vast majority of politicians on network news programmes were members of the Westminster Parliament. And when Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland did feature on the news, the stories were more likely to be on sport and crime than devolved policy issues.

BBC managers said they would provide the trust with an action plan next month.

ANI

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