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Aug 11, 2016

The Guardian | Media | Media Briefing : BBC Statistics, Donald Trump, Sky News

The big story

Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli
Photograph: General Photographic Agency/Getty Images
That 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.

MediaGuardian’s top stories

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The company behind Peppa Pig has turned down an approach by ITV. Photograph: five
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The best from around the web

Former Sun managing editor Stig Abell has assessed the health of UK newspapers for the New York Times
Former Sun managing editor Stig Abell has assessed the health of UK newspapers for the New York Times Photograph: David Bebber for the Guardian
Bitter pill: The Mirror is to start charging for its digital tablet edition, reports Press Gazette
Paper tigers: Former Sun managing editor and current TLS editor Stig Abell provides an overview of the state of UKnewspapers for the New York Times
Down the coal mine: BuzzFeed digs into the Canary’s background, business model and controversial approach to journalism
Brexit bounce: Politico’s Alex Spence on British newspapers’ sales and traffic rise
Moving pictures: Mashable examines the rise, fall and rise of the gif
Sunnier climes: Long serving political correspondent Craig Woodhouse is leaving the Sun to become a special adviser to DCMS, says City AM

And finally...

Donald Trump’s supporters often insist many of his most outlandish claims are made in jest, even when he seems to be hinting at assassinating presidential candidates or members of the supreme court, but one judge has laid out in a series of tweets why it’s no laughing matter.
— Jason P. Steed 
1. I wrote my PhD dissertation on the social function of humor (in literature & film) and here's the thing about "just joking."