BBC orders thematic review into migration output
May 19, 2023
The BBC Board has commissioned a thematic review of the Corporation’s migration output, which is says is “part of its responsibility for setting and monitoring editorial standards across the BBC”.
The review will assess BBC coverage of major migration topics affecting the UK. Expert on migration data Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory based at Oxford University, and broadcasting executive Samir Shah, chief executive of Juniper, an independent television and radio production company, will jointly chair and author the review.
The review will assess coverage of topics such as ‘small boats’ crossing the English Channel; the admission of refugees fleeing Ukraine following the Russian invasion; the impact of migration on communities in the UK including the devolved nations and the English regions; the UK Government’s policy on sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda; and coverage of public announcements about migration. It will consider whether due impartiality is being delivered across BBC content and that a breadth of voices and viewpoints are being reflected.
Outgoing BBC Chairman Richard Sharp, said: “Madeleine Sumption and Samir Shah are well-known for their expert understanding of the issues involved in delivering impartial coverage of migration, which is an important and often intensely contested subject. Their combination of evidence-based academic research and working knowledge of impartiality in broadcasting make them highly qualified to lead the thematic review into BBC migration output. Their findings will ensure the BBC continues to have the correct approach to producing coverage that audiences can trust.”
Terms of Reference for the review confirm the review will consider all UK public service radio, television, and online content, as well as related social media use.
The BBC Board will publish the review’s findings and any recommendations that it makes. Work will begin in the coming days.