The big storyThat the quote “lies, damn lies and statistics” is attributed to Conservative prime minister Benjamin Disraeli should hopefully not have been lost on the BBC Trust this week when it unveiled a report which said the corporation had a “high dependency” on the Tory government for its statistics.
Though it’s perhaps not surprising that government (and therefore Conservative MPs) might be the source of many of the figures used by the BBC, any perception of bias is not going to down well with the public.
The report overall commended the BBC for its handling of statistics, but said that in some cases it could do more to ensure dominant narratives are challenged. Given the criticism it, and other broadcasters, attracted during the EU referendum (which wasn’t covered by the report), making sure statistics are treated with care is more important than ever.
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