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Discussion > BBC use of statistics

Looks to be worth reading and discussing:

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Trust impartiality review of the BBC's reporting of statistics

In 2015 the Trust commissioned a review of the impartiality of the BBC's reporting of statistics in its news and current affairs output. The review was published on 10 August 2016.

The Trust commissioned an expert panel chaired by former UK National Statistician Dame Jil Matheson, to lead the review. In addition to the Panel's independent report, the Trust also commissioned independent content analysis from Cardiff University, and audience research from Oxygen Brand Consulting.

The report and supporting evidence can be found below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/editorial_standards/impartiality/statistics

*****

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/10/bbc-let-emma-thompson-get-away-with-inaccurate-climate-change-cl/

Vs

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/aug/10/bbc-tory-government-statistics-conservatives

Aug 10, 2016 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Press release here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2016/statistics_impartiality

Aug 11, 2016 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Shocking stats ? check your flies files
But when ProgLefty Journo zombies finds a shocking stat he just cherrypicks it and repeats it again and again.

I advise applying the "Too wow to be true rule"

e.g. On the Radio Scotland : Media Review July 21, Stuart Maconie asserted 'Muslims make up 5% of the population yet only 0.4% of reporters are Muslim.. we need a big effort to stop this discrimination' and then put his hands on his hips in Rik from the Young Ones style
..Since I see Muslim reporters all the time that 0.4% stat seems fishy especially since some networks have Muslims on all the time : BBCWS and BBCAsianNetwork
(actually the Reuters report PDF said Muslims 4.8% general population) Then if you look at the other religions you can see they too are under represented compared. Here are the ratios of public to journos : Muslim 12:1, Jewish 5.4, Hindu 3.5, Other 3.3, Christian 2.
By that measure the BBC should be running special campaigns to recruit Jews, and Christians also.

There are a number of explanations : The pool of general population and journalists are not the same eg journos are older than 18 years old.
But I suspect different questions in the surveys
Perhaps on the census the question asks "Are you from a Muslim background ?" So your father ticks yes for the whole family.
Whereas the journo might be asked "Are you a practising Muslim ?" so many of the same people answer no.
So one dataset is apples and the other is oranges.

Aug 11, 2016 at 9:58 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Same on R4Today about job discrimination against Muslim women
the BBC presenter dared to point out that in surveys 60% of non-working Muslim women said they prefer to be at home being homemakers. The Faminazis brushed that aside and banged on for another 5 mins.
I
Someone tweets >>How many #Muslim women are not available for work because they have more children than other UK citizens?<<
>>RE: Muslim women suffering 'workplace discrimination' - PWC may be scum, but they fall short of beheading or stoning job applicants<<

again I think the shocking stats may come from comparing apples with oranges

Aug 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Might there be some distinction made between the misuse of statistics by the BBC through its employees, and situations where the BBC broadcasts misleading or inaccurate statistics from people being interviewed? There is of course an intermediate case where BBC interviewers allow obvious incorrect statistics to go unchallenged. Even here allowances should be made regarding time constraints or where an interviewer is pursuing a goal and doesn't want to be diverted by side issues. Further allowances should also be made when the BBC interviewers are not experts in the field being discussed; what might be obvious to those with specialist knowledge may not be to a generalist interviewer, like those fronting the Today Programme.

Aug 11, 2016 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

"BBC interviewers allow obvious incorrect statistics to go unchallenged. "
@ACK there is news from NotAlot : BBC let Emma Thompson get away with ‘inaccurate’ climate change claims, watchdog finds


The BBC must not let on-air guests bamboozle viewers with inaccurate statistics, its watchdog has warned, as it finds Emma Thompson was allowed to spout climate change inaccuracies without challenge.

The BBC Trust found the Oscar-winning actress was permitted to make “inaccurate statements” about temperature rises during a Newsnight appearance, without being properly interrogated.

A report into the BBC’s impartiality found presenters and journalists must do more to challenge statistics and statements by celebrities, politicians and spokesmen who appear on its shows.

Aug 11, 2016 at 4:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BTW "Further allowances should also be made when the BBC interviewers are not experts"
I disagree with that. The BBC interviewer needs no expertise at all in the field, he is merely a gatekeeper and should be able to do that whatever the topic.
Evan Davis - whenevr a guest in a business prog uses a jargon word ..he stops them and gets them to explain it.
£180K/year Andrew Neil - knows to ask guests to give a source for their stats and challenges implausubilities.
BUt but many presenters like those on Today seem to be hopeless, regarding some guests as friends and just playing along whatever they say..as I said above this morning there was a challenge, but the guests basically ignored it and carried on for 5 minutes ..on Twitter he sneered at for being anti-muslim for daring to make the challenge.

Aug 11, 2016 at 5:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. You might have noticed that I identified BBC interviewers not vigorously challenging interviewees as a cause for concern (but also warned that in some instances there may be other redeeming circumstances). Reviewing the interview with Thompson, I see no redeeming features and would question if she should even have been a contributor to the programme. A waste of space!

OK?

Aug 11, 2016 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Please do not forget the BBC programme "More or Less" presented by Tim Harford that sceptically examines all matters statistical, including some originally given in other BBC programmes.

Aug 11, 2016 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Dellers:

The BBC has been censured for allowing actress Emma Thompson to spout a load of hysterical, made-up, warmista drivel about climate change on the supposedly respectable and balanced news analysis programme Newsnight.

It’s supposed to be independent and arm’s-length but in reality it’s anything but. Never was this clearer than in the way it dealt with criticisms of its science coverage, especially that part dedicated to the climate change issue. At great expense it commissioned a report from a left-wing Welshman known as Jones the Snail (because his field of expertise is snails) which completely acquitted the BBC of all charges of bias and concluded that, if anything, the BBC should be even more biased in its climate coverage because “deniers” were little better than people who think that “AIDS has nothing to do with viruses, the MMR vaccine is unsafe, complex organs could never evolve, or even that the 9/11 disaster was a US government plot.” (No, really. And this guy is a professor…)

Aug 11, 2016 at 7:12 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

@ACK said "Reviewing the interview with Thompson, I see no redeeming features and would question if she should even have been a contributor to the programme. A waste of space!"

Disagree, you never ban anyone.
It would have been very informing and grea ttelly if she had been interviewed properly (say by Andrew Neil)
"Emma you believe the temperature will be 4C hotter than today, can you give us a proper source for that claim"
"er but .."

Result Emma looks nuts, global warmists look nuts, introspection starts, world improves.

..Our biggest problem is that alarmists hide from proper debate and are not challenged properly by presenters .

Aug 11, 2016 at 11:29 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen. Thank you for quoting me in full because it shows that that I didn't use the word "ban", nor did I imply it. I gave my opinion that the broadcasting space she occupied could have been better used. Far from banning her, I would welcome the opportunity for an interview with her, or someone like her, upon whether their lifestyle was commensurate with the views they were proselytizing (implications of hypocrisy), or (perhaps with others in a panel discussion) upon the subject of whether celebs should use their status to proselytize for subjects where they have no specialist knowledge. In the latter case I would want to contrast the divine Emma's advocacy with that of a celebrity who had a long and close relationship with a worthy charity.

I certainly would not recommend the type of interview you advocate. It almost certainly would go something like:

Andrew Neill: "Emma you believe the temperature will be 4oC hotter than today, can you give us a proper source for that claim"
Emma: "Oh Neill! You can't expect me to carry around that sort of detail in my head. But when I get to my website later today I'll definitely put a reputable technical reference on it for you and the listeners to read and, if you like, I'll send it to you and you can put it on your website. Better, still we'll put it on the BBC site."
Game, set and match to Emma. You wouldn't trap a communicator like Emma Thompson with any question where she could only utter "err..."

Aug 12, 2016 at 6:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

I never said YOU were advocating banning her ,but I was thinking of people that would.
So we are agreed on not banning her

hmm I'm not sure A Neil would fall for that "I'll tell you later trick"
In this circumstance he would himself know its an extraordinary claim. In fact every journalist that there has just been a big hoo haa in Paris about 2C end of century ..so 4C by 2030 should be a bit weird and be able to say "whoa you just made an extraordinary claim, I don't think anyone should be taking you seriously until you come up with extraordinary evidence.

But what about times when a journalist who doesn't know the story is interviewing .
AS you say one technique is to have a panel or least one person with opposing views.
In a one to one and the presenter has no knowledge of the topic, he has to a bit sharper and be on the lookout for extraordiary claims and say things like "oh people can only take you seriously when they have checked that fact. And make it clear that these days viewers tweet in quickly when fake stats are used so her facts better be OK or she'll face embaressment .
Like in that Newsnight show they are socially media aware ..they would have had a Twitterstorm at them within minutes so should have been able to do a quick correction.

Aug 12, 2016 at 10:30 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Steve Jones August 11, 2016 at 11:32 pm

What Emma Thompson claims is largely irrelevant. Rather, it is the fact that a scientifically ignorant activist is given a platform by a wholly uncritical BBC and funded by us. A global warming sceptic or luke-warmer would not be given the same opportunity to put far better informed and scientifically substantiated views on air. That is the true crime committed regularly, on many subjects, by the BBC. It is the left-wing groupthink mindset that will not allow dissent that we are funding to the tune of £4Bn a year under threat of imprisonment.
Let the next national referendum be about whether the BBC should be funding using the current unique system or by subscription. That would be a results broadcast I would sit up all night to watch.

Aug 12, 2016 at 10:52 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

All the smart guys must be enjoying a sunny BBQ instead of commenting here.
I'd like to hear some more opinions.
- In a way it is good that the bBC hasn't been policing stats mentioned, cos they could practice gatekeeping, keeping unapproved stats off the airwaves .

eg saying 1,000 scientists find fault with IPCC would be banned under the holy dogma that 97% of scientists believe.

I thought of an easy way to monitor BBC stats ..encourage the public to highlight bad ones using a hashtag #BbcBadStats

Alan I commented more on Paul Homewood's thread about things that come out of Emma T's brain. (Em-T Brain)

Aug 13, 2016 at 2:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@AK, Aug 12, 2016 at 6:10 AM

Andrew Neill [sic]: "Emma you believe the temperature will be 4oC hotter than today, can you give us a proper source for that claim"
Emma: "Oh Neill [sic]! You can't expect me to carry around that sort of detail in my head. But when I get to my website later today I'll definitely put a reputable technical reference on it for you and the listeners to read and, if you like, I'll send it to you and you can put it on your website. Better, still we'll put it on the BBC site."
Game, set and match to Emma. You wouldn't trap a communicator like Emma Thompson with any question where she could only utter "err..."

ROFL

Dream away. Andrew Neil would not behave as you suggest. Obfuscation is anathema to him. He would demand proof and not let it go until she capitulated or made a fool of herself.

Watch him destroy Cameron's protege Matt Hancock on Daily Politics.

You wouldn't trap a communicator like Emma Thompson

LMAO, she's not a "communicator" she's an actress/mummer who memorises her lines and regurgitates them. Similar to Izzard on QT when he forgot lines and did an err, err, err whilst reading script then recited OT nonsense.

Alan, were you drunk when you posted?

Aug 14, 2016 at 2:03 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

PCar Why do you have to be so insulting? I respect your opinion (although I disagree with it), why can't you do the same? I see no point in continuing.

Aug 14, 2016 at 6:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ACK & Pcar

To "Err" is Climate Science Advocacy. Real "Errors" take Real Climate Scientists.

Aug 14, 2016 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The BBC is clearly in the spectrum of credibility once occupied by by Pravda and Izvestia.

Aug 14, 2016 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

@AK, Aug 14, 2016 at 6:32 AM

PCar Why do you have to be so insulting? I respect your opinion (although I disagree with it), why can't you do the same? I see no point in continuing.

Alan, there was no intention to insult you which I assume refers to "drunk". On the contrary, your posts are usually* intelligent. However, your post on Emma "grey, rainy country" Thompson and Brillo is bonkers Moonbat fantasy. Hence the question.

*usually - the GC chat is often bonkers, but humorous.

BBC.QT.160609.Izzard.OT.Rant

Aug 14, 2016 at 10:13 PM | Registered CommenterPcar