Brexit Facts4eu.org "Brexit Battle Pack" - Part 4:
The Primary Targets: Group 2 - The Media
PLEASE NOTE: This action pack was written in 2018 but the same principles apply today. To see the latest factsheets which you may wish to incorporate, please click here.
Day after day we read Remainers stating with absolute certainty that the TV media is biased in favour of Brexit. Yes, you read that right. Needless to say, the facts don't back this up. All surveys of relevant TV programmes (BBC Question Time, Any Questions, the Today Programme, Newsnight, the Marr Show, etc) have shown an overwhelming bias in favour of participants who are Remainers.
Even putting aside the detailed analysis that has been done, it's obvious just from daily viewing how much of the TV media in particular are biased against Brexit. Enough said.
Whose voices are the tv media hearing?
What may not be fully appreciated by all readers is the activism of the Remain camp. When Leave won the Referendum, the Establishment started to get very active indeed. Many ordinary Remainers accepted the result but little by little an increasing number of Remainers became emboldened by the actions of the Establishment.
The result of all of this is that we strongly suspect (although naturally we have no access to the data from the media companies) that Remoaners have been far more active in contacting the media to complain.
Well, we suggest it's time for ordinary Brexiteers to become as active as Remoaners are.
TV news remains at the top of the polls when people are asked where they get their news from. The internet has caught up - just - but there's little doubt that the main news channels of the BBC, Sky News, and ITN are still key formers of public opinion.
The question is, what can be done practically?
1. The BBC
With no commercial interests to worry about, the BBC considers itself above everything. We propose that at the very least we should ensure that they hear the voices of the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit.
This means complaints. Every day. By the thousands.
This won't convert these metropolitan luvvies, but at the least it will gradually make them uneasy. Don't forget, all we're trying to do is to influence things, bring some balance, and achieve a more level playing field.
If BBC News and Current Affairs started receiving a much higher volume of daily complaints from Brexiteers, it might make some presenters less inclined to interrupt pro-Brexit guests whilst they allow Remainer guests to speak uninterrupted. It might make news editors more likely to invite pro-Brexit guests onto the shows. It might persuade them to report on stories which are intrinsically favourable to Brexit, instead of constantly running news pieces on (mostly fake) negative news.
In our Brexit Facts4EU.Org Battle Pack Toolbox, we are including the email addresses and phone numbers for BBC (and Sky and ITN) editors, programmes, and journalists, insofar as these are available.
Our proposal is that as many readers as possible get into the habit of emailing or calling the moment they see bias on a BBC news programme. Hit them hard, and hit them often. As with MPs, we suggest a combination of communication techniques, with the usual order of impact: letters, calls, emails, tweets.
2. Commercial TV – Sky News and ITN
Commercial TV only works on the basis of advertising revenue and subscriptions. This gives Brexiteers more leverage. Readers can adopt the same method as with the BBC (above), and let the broadcasters know their views as often as possible and using a variety of means of communication. Without doubt this will make a difference. And even a marginal improvement would be something.
However with commercial broadcasters there is also the option of a threat which attacks their business model. For Sky this could mean pulling financial support by cancelling or reducing subscriptions. Readers who felt so inclined could give the broadcaster a few weeks to introduce some normal impartiality, for example. If no improvement were seen this would result in the reader downgrading their subscription (perhaps their current subscription includes channels they rarely watch) or even of cancelling it altogether.
On the advertising revenue side, readers might feel inclined to say that they now consider xyz programme to be unwatchable. Some of the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team can no longer watch Adam Boulton's daily "All Out Politics" programme, for example. (And please don't get us started on Kay Burley.)
This sanction applies to both Sky and ITN. If you're going to contact Sky or ITN to complain and tell them your proposed course of action, it's important to link it to their commercial model.
In other words, "Please tell all advertising agencies placing spots on ‘All Out Politics' that I will no longer see these adverts. And if I'm saying this, just remember that for each person like me there are hundreds who don't complain, they just stop watching."