BBC reporting of pandemic ‘is alarmist and biased’

BBC reporting of pandemic ‘is alarmist and biased’

This item, by Andrew Isherwood, a structural engineer living and working in the north of England, brings into sharp focus one man’s impressions of the BBC’s mis-reporting of the facts about Covid-19. He wrote in submitting the article: ‘I am not a scientist but the direction and decisions being made within government seem at odds to the information that seems to be in the public domain and then not having the information factually represented in the media seems wrong.’

At the present time the BBC News seems to be reinforcing the government’s message, reporting death statistics and infection rates that misrepresent the data, together with the trends of the diseases. As an example, the death rates being quoted are the reported daily deaths, which are not when an individual died. This paints a skewed picture of the actual daily death rate, with the apparent death rate significantly exceeding the actual trend – the date of reported death suggests a pattern of rapidly increasing deaths when the data includes deaths that occurred, in some cases, months in the past. Using the date of recorded death shows a trend that is level and not increasing at the rates experienced in March. – ref NHS link :-

Reference to the work completed by Professor Heneghan at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, at Oxford University, shows the progression of the virus has resulted in marginal increases in the death rate, since the end the first wave, when compared to recorded respiratory deaths from flu infections over previous years – none of their work has been reported in the mainstream news by the BBC. It’s also worth noting that the current death rate from COVID being less than that of flu deaths in the 1990’s prior to introduction of flu vaccine in 2000.

The data presented in daily BBC bulletins captures the positive COVID test rates as a measure of the progression of the disease. Reference to CEBM’s data suggests that a more representative measure of virus transmission trends should be based upon the specimen test date i.e. recorded date of test, not the reported test date, to attain a better understanding of progression of the virus. This method of reporting takes better account of when the test was taken to manage fluctuation in reporting date.

Reporting the daily reported cases in the current manner is misrepresentative and alarmist, perpetrating an aire of panic in the population – The piece of work completed by CEBM demonstrates, through the use of the available data, that the predicted exponential growth of the infection, defined by the Chief Science Officer, is not being realised, for the ‘second wave’. The specimen recorded rates of infection show a slow increase in infection rates, In lieu of the current data of the reported positive test infection rates.

What has never been reported, is the poor accuracy of the PCR test employed by the government to test for COVID…..with the relatively low concentration of COVID in the population, the nature of the test results in a significant false positive rate, again skewing the actual trends of the disease. Together with the fact that the test can record strains of other coronavirus DNA, dead COVID cells, asymptomatic COVID etc.

The Oxford team have also highlighted the poor accuracy rate of the PCR test, which changed some aspects of the testing approach by government, but the not the fundamental flaws in the accuracy of the test – none of their work has been presented in the mainstream news by the BBC – refer to the CEBM website for details.

It’s apparent that hospital admissions are increasing, but again the information stated in bulletins does not represent the information published on the NHS website. BBC reports currently suggest around 500 hospital admissions in to the NHS but what isn’t being addressed is that there are approx 200 daily discharge of patients ie there is an approx circa 300 net increase. The news reports present the picture that the number of admissions are overwhelming hospitals with new admissions, when the net impact of hospital admissions is around 300, with around 5% patients being treated in the NHS being tested positive for COVID. See link below. Also In a normal winter cycle the NHS expect around a 1000 daily admissions for respiratory illness – Not widely reported but buried in a BBC web article.

The impact of the continued lockdown on the economy, impact on mental health, deaths from treatable and chronic diseases are being massively overlooked when compared to the impact of COVID on a relative small percentage of the population. Daily deaths from cancer and the lack of treatment of these, and chronic patients, whose treatment is not being addressed by the NHS, because of the continued focus on COVID, will far outstrip the deaths from COVID. Again, this impact is not being reported or addressed in a balanced way.

The BBC should be reporting all the facts and bringing balance to the debate. It’s apparent that the continued damaging lockdown approach by the UK Government, based on theIr version of the science, is focused on the worst case infection / death scenario. Comparison of the data from other countries, who we are told we are following closely, shows the impact to be less onerous than the current predicted patterns of the disease mortality predicted by the Government Scientists

Whilst I appreciate the impact of COVID on families across the country and the pain resulting from the losses, it’s important that the decisions made by our government, that are impacting the lives of millions of the population now and for years to come, should be based on a balanced view of the science, which from the attached research from CEBM shows this not to be the case.

The BBC have a duty to present all the facts and information, to promote debate, to challenge the science and subsequent decisions that will have a profound effect on the population, economy and health now, and in the future.



  • Agree 100%, the BBC reporting together with much of the media has been disgraceful throughout, promoting fear and hysteria and rarely challenging the government and oft quoted ‘experts’. Much more balance is required.

    I work in the health service accross multiple clinical areas nationally and the impact this approach has had in instigating frankly terror amongst whole sections of the population resulting in their non use of the NHS for serious life risk issues has been devastating. There are many examples, major stroke centres going from an average of 50 patients admitted on the wards to 5.., cardiology wards the same, resulting in many needless deaths as a direct result of the fear and panic spread by the media.

    The odd story questioning the facts is sometimes published but more often than not buried away on the website.

    The BBC has a duty to be challenging the government and the data presented much more intensively and giving those with alternative views a voice to present a much more balanced view.

  • This week Matt Hancock condemned experts who dared question lockdown. Now, after two of them embarrassingly exposed his basic errors, Prof ANGUS DALGLEISH asks… How IS this petulant, shockingly ignorant minister still in a job?


  • I don’t know why the BBC and the Guardian and other left wing slanted organisations want to keep this pandemic going. You would think like the rest of of us they would want it to be over with so we could all get on with our lives. But no, they hammer it down our throats day in day out with their doomsday scenarios. Without the help of the mainstream media, none of this pandemic would have happened, and we would now be relatively back to normal like Sweden.

  • BBC, and other media, attempt to dismiss the suggestion that they seek the sensational, the negative and the anti-government news about the pandemic. Since the Spring I have been waiting for regular updates on the number or percentage of people who have recovered from the virus.

  • Thank you providing some interesting perspective.

    Even without a wealth of data to question the government/ media narrative it is abundantly clear that both are playing heavily into peoples fears. It is explicitly the case in the governments advertising campaigns questioning whether people have locked themselves up enough. The media narrative daily and unquestioningly, backs up the official position. It presents a story of the NHS as under pressure even long after the current wave peaked. We have had a very serious wave since Christmas but now that vaccinations are progressing well they turn to creating other fears about mutations. There is also constant anecdotal messaging about the disease impacting younger people without co-morbidities which is not born out either in the vaccination campaign or in the age of deaths which are recorded.

    There are other credible voices on the fringes of the media such as Lord Sumption and Professor Carl Heneghan that have pointed out flaws in the narrative. Such as the forecast presented for the second lockdown being inaccurate based upon data available at the time it was presented. But the BBC if it is prepared to engage with the sceptic point of view only does so to attempt to demolish it. It does not look to find a reality that exist somewhere between the extreme government position and the critics.

    The BBC management may feel they have a higher responsibility to public safety than the truth. But the message they give out raises more questions than it resolves. I literally turn it off for the sake of my sanity.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *