London Calling

2016 ,    »  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 8.10/10 from 51 users.

The divide between hard news and propaganda has become murkier than ever in recent years. Audiences from both sides of the aisle have observed an insidious media bias at play whether they consume their news online, in the morning papers or on the nightly networks. The presentation of alternative facts has inspired a palpable sense of disillusionment and mistrust among viewership. The documentary London Calling, based on the popular book of the same name by author GA Ponsonby, recounts one of the egregious examples of bias as it targets the BBC and their role in defeating the 2014 referendum for Scotland's independence.

The 'Yes' campaign for independence was rightfully viewed as an underdog, but public support was growing. In the lead up to the vote, however, much of the media seemed chilly to their movement. This was definitely the case with the BBC, a large and long-respected organization that many credit with propelling the downfall of the movement. Key figures within the campaign, media insiders and ordinary voters give voice to the frustrations of the 'Yes' campaigners who experienced defeat both in the voting booth and in the promise of an impartial media.

Do they have a point? The evidence points to much more than just sour grapes. The film is littered with instances of bias committed by the BBC. Opponents cite a series of deceitful headlines, cheap tactics that provoked fear in the outcome of a yes vote, and coverage that failed to find a balance between both sides of the issue. The organization willfully evaded the lingering questions, scandals and controversies that marked the campaign to vote against the independence measure. Meanwhile, leaders in the 'Yes' campaign were tormented by manufactured character assassinations and a barrage of exaggerated negative reporting. Pro-union interests who stood against the quest for independence were given a dominant role in programming while many Scots with a different point of view were given short shrift.

For their part, the BBC claims they adhered to the strictest ethical standards of impartiality in their reporting. But the damage seems to have already been done as more viewers consume their media with increasingly discerning eyes. London Calling exposes the importance of an impartial press that is truly representative of the people, and the democratic catastrophes which can occur in its absence. It's a scary potential that we all must struggle against.

Directed by: Alan Knight

11 Comments / User Reviews

    bob fearn
  1. bob fearn

    If your looking for the truth from the British Bullsh*t Corporation then then are going to love Fox News.

  2. Mathew Cassell
  3. Mathew Cassell

    I used to applaud and defend the BBC for the excellent job they did. Their coverage was comprehensive and program making absolutely top notch. That began going south in the mid eighties and I am struggling to see how much further into the gutter it can go.
    It is disappointing to see what it has become, an embarrassment. Where we used to see the world through documentary series like World in Action (ITV), Panorama (BBC), Storyville, Horizon and so on, we now have to look elsewhere. Ironically if I am prompted to seek a documentary from anywhere in the world it is one which has been transmitted on RT. ..... My peers from years gone by will be rolling in their graves.

  4. calblanche
  5. calblanche

    This is something I've seen for a very long time and am very happy it's finally gotten the right attention. The BBC is an extremely clever form of propaganda machine, as one of their central claims is to be an "objective" source of news. Your opinion is always being influenced and a biased agenda is always being pushed from any source of information you take, because it's made by people who have their own biases and agendas in what they choose to show you and talk about. It's most dangerous when an organisation trumpets its so called "objectivity", its still propaganda. It's biased, can be misleading, and its attempting to promote its own political cause or change your point of view. PROPAGANDA.

  6. Sean O'Cuinneagain
  7. Sean O'Cuinneagain

    The BBC could always be relied upon to back the official narrative.

  8. Astraea
  9. Astraea

    I hate the BBC for being so dishonest and cruelly manipulating the people to it's own ends - or whoever is behind it all - many pedophiles apparaently n that corporation.
    I despise the whole thing and everyone in it or who has anytahing to do with - as well as people like Thereza May. Detestable liars, all of them

  10. Solinus
  11. Solinus

    BBC News has been shoddy for a LONG time. Anyone who watches RT and criticises the BBC is an absolute tool. Any news channel trying to cover a yes/no question will undoubtedly be called bias by one side. BBC news is sh*t - and reads like a tabloid newspaper - but I struggle to believe it's deliberately misleading or intentionally biased propaganda.

    Saying that the BBC does put out good programmes like Daily Politics which at least *tries* to grill both arguments when it comes to politics. The problem is nobody watches it or pays attention

  12. Nobody
  13. Nobody

    For years I lived in a communist country where propaganda and information distortion was a norm. There was saying that they were so distrusted that one could not believed even the weather forecast. After those years I was observing the so called western media and to my shock and amazement they turned out not only misleading but providing complete disinformation and propaganda same way as the communist media. BBC is perhaps one of the worst of them.

  14. Steven
  15. Steven

    Once you lost them, they're gone forever. Everyone has heard of spin.
    The news is spun. Too many stories are simply not covered. Facts left out or twisted and people catch on. In Canada the public broadcaster the CBC is fond of putting stories on climate on the back pages under the technology section. What's climate got to do with technology? The Guardian never covers GMO's except in a favorable light. An example like this GMO Herbicide-Resistant Crops Have Led To Massive Increases In Herbicide Use Thanks To 'Super Weeds,'. will not be found in the Guardian Newspaper. At least I haven't seen one. So media you can't have it both ways and once people are turned off, they will find whatever outlet that agrees with their point of view regardless of if its fake. We live in very dangerous times. With no one to trust what do the movers and shakers think will happen? Lie and get caught and you will always be a lier even if most of what is covered is accurate. Best to browse various news sites to pick on those stories that might be missed by your regional news service.

  16. PoCo NoMo
  17. PoCo NoMo

    I quit CBC for the most part unless for a certain reason now and then, but couldn't even force myself to watch when they started thinking they were American Democrats who needed to trash President Trump all week long. That would be cool if it weren't for my tax dollars paying for these high-dollar hipsters. I'm going to try this doc now, but am hoping it doesn't just piss me off.

  18. DustUp
  19. DustUp

    If this sort of thing is new to you, good idea to watch. People who refuse to believe their favorite news cast is propaganda(lies) simply cannot handle the implications... that their world view is kaput. Many moons ago when I was young, I discovered that any news story that I knew about personally, at least some of the facts were reported wrong. That situation continued. One could interpolate that most of the news was inaccurate.

    It is amusing that some point towards Fox News as propaganda but not the rest. Which only means they actually like and choose propaganda as long as it agrees with what they want to believe, as false as it is.

    There has always been propaganda in the news whether we or our parents were aware of it or not. With the re-emergence of radio and the advent of the internet and alternative sources independent from the major networks, many more have become aware of the fake news networks.

    Certainly the biased agenda driven propaganda has gotten far worse than it SEEMED like it was years ago. However, a little bit or a moderate amount from the years past was NOT ok. Yearning for the good old days would get you ... propaganda, just a smaller dose.

    Unfortunately far too many people keep sucking up the propaganda in the evening rather than checking any of what they see and hear for fear their overworked egos may take a hit for being wrong for buying into fake news/propaganda. Worse yet, it seems people prefer propaganda as long as it favors what they favor. Much like some gals like to be told their dress makes them look thinner. Ok guys too for those who wear dresses.

    There simply is no need to decide immediately if a news story is true, i.e. buy into something presented. Put it in the holding space until you have time to look elsewhere or come across other things about it. However, most would be more informed if they turned of the boob tube TV altogether. No news is better than fake news.

    Some have claimed to me they don't have time to investigate. If true they don't have time to watch the propaganda either and would not be so misguided if they stopped.

  20. Jockey
  21. Jockey

    Agree with the above but my main concern is how we fund the BBC.

    If I offered to supply a service to you for charge, and if you do not pay my fee then you cannot get that service from anyone else, you would say I was running a protection racket. That was how the Mafia worked.

    And that is how the licence fee works. If I want any live broadcasting I have to pay the BBC licence fee even if I do not want its services.

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