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Bbc Spin: Reply To Complaint

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I complained to the BBC regarding the bias headline in the following report:

House Prices to Rise 3%

The reply:

Dear Mr Test

Thanks for your e-mail.

Well, the Halifax is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the UK. We

also quote an economics consultancy - Capital Economics - that

released a different forecast on the same day.

I would agree with your judgement if we had not reported the predictions

of Capital Economics.

But we reported both, and on balance the views of the country's largest

mortgage lender are of more importance than that of a group of City

economists - although both are worth reporting.

Theirs is only that much that can be put into a brief headline without

making it meaningless, and believe it is correct to lead the story with

Halifax.

Regards,

Tim Weber

Business Editor

BBC News Interactive www.bbc.co.uk/business

My latest reply:

Dear Mr Weber,

You have revealed a major flaw in your thinking with your reply.

It is exactly because the Halifax is "one of the largest mortgage lenders in the UK" that you should be cautious of their press releases! However, on this occasion you provided balance with the report from Capital Economics which I commend.

But, you have missed the point of my complaint. The headline does not represent the balanced article. It tends towards the "bullish" report from the vested interest. Therefore, the bias is explicit; an unacceptable situation for an independent report.

How about:

Experts divided on House Prices.

Mixed Messages for Housing Market

Indepedent Economists disagree with Mortage Lenders

House prices may rise, or fall!

House Prices: Who do you believe?

Compare to:

House prices to rise 3%.

Clearly your headline is unacceptable. I expect better from the BBC.

But, credit to the BBC for taking time to reply.

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Looks like Mr Weber has been getting through his back log of complaints! Here's mine:

Remember this report from the OECD? http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages/art...87&in_page_id=8

OECD Source: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/41/56/35756053.pdf

My e-mail (ok, I was annoyed when I wrote it):

Dear Sir

Why is the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)

report not mentioned on your website or other news formats? This is a

vital piece of economic news, that should be reported. If you look at

other media organisations, you will see they have mentioned this report.

Even the Financial Times reported this on their front page

(http://news.ft.com/cms/s/8b59cd22-612a-11d...00779e2340.html),

i.e. this is very important news.

You also mention other reports from OECD are mention by yourseleves,

e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4480882.stm.

So why have the BBC not reported this?

I believe the BBC is very biased when choosing which report to mention;

and this has been going on for a while when refering to the housing

market in particular.

I am very disapointed in your biased reporting, hence my written

complaint.

BBC Reply:

Dear XXXX

Many thanks for your e-mail and apologies for the delay in getting back

to you, but it's been a very busy month.

Well, the OECD report was released on a very busy news day (and the day

before the report of the Turner Commission on Pensions), and we just did

not have the people to write it, and to be honest it didn't really say

anything new.

We have reported numerous times various assessments that the housing

market is overvalued - we were actually one of the first to do so, when

several years ago we gave big coverage to a Capital Economics assessment

that suggested that house prices were overvalued by some 30% (a number

that the company has revised downwards since).

Whenever we report that somebody says or predicts that house prices are

going up, we are criticised for talking up the market. Whenever we

report that somebody says or predicts that the housing market is

cooling, we're accused of trying to crash the market.

The debate about the state of the property market is very vigorous, and

the issues raised are highly contentious.

I appreciate that, but believe that we give a balanced view of all sides

in the debate.

We try to cover it comprehensively, especially given the great interest

of our readers in the market, but given our slim resources we also have

to make judgements as to what we do and don't cover.

On the day we decided to focus on other aspects of the OECD report.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4481306.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4480882.stm

Regards,

Tim Weber

Business Editor

BBC News Interactive www.bbc.co.uk/business

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Just following on from my e-mail, I want to find out if this statement is true:

"We have reported numerous times various assessments that the housing

market is overvalued - we were actually one of the first to do so, when

several years ago we gave big coverage to a Capital Economics assessment

that suggested that house prices were overvalued by some 30% (a number

that the company has revised downwards since)."

Indeed, Capital Economics revised its house price forcast from -20% from peak to trough [nominal], to -5% for 2006/2007 [nominal]. Did Capital Economics revise it's figure for what house prices are overvalued by? I don't think they did? Can anyone point to any data to prove the statement above incorrect?

If true (which I think it is) Mr Weber is spinning without realising it!

Edited by Jason

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Radio 4 this morning, a whole bunch of spin trotted out as news - item about the biggest price rises being splattered over a number of towns in Scotland.

Strangely there was no counter list of the smallest price rises or the largest falls elsewhere in the UK - couldn't have been in the press release.

When the BBC have reached this level of journalistic nihilism it is time to take the TV tax away from them, it really is pathetic that money is being paid for drivel like this.

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Radio 4 this morning, a whole bunch of spin trotted out as news - item about the biggest price rises being splattered over a number of towns in Scotland.

Strangely there was no counter list of the smallest price rises or the largest falls elsewhere in the UK - couldn't have been in the press release.

When the BBC have reached this level of journalistic nihilism it is time to take the TV tax away from them, it really is pathetic that money is being paid for drivel like this.

The media is driven by the need to tell people what they WANT to hear. 70% or more of the people in the UK own their own homes and want to hear that prices are still going UP UP and AWAY!!!!!! People may shy away from buying newspapers that tell it like it is and will switch channels to Fools and Horses if a program about falling prices comes on. Not too many programmes about how to sell your house in a crash?

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First they deny house prices are falling, then they claim property is recovering, and is over the worse?

Contradictions, spin, misinformation. (NuLabour)

All in a futile attempt to revamp a falling market.

People are genuinely priced out of all but the most dismal, bleak and worst property money can afford.

And they think this will last forever?

I personally look forward to next year when the credibility gap of these ‘news institutions’ collapses.

And we will then see the ‘real trend’ kick-in.

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All smiles this morning on News 24, reporting the rises in those god forsaken towns in Scotland. Failing to mention all those places in the south that have had falling prices!!

Might be something to do with:-

Link

... and therefore trying to protect VI's interest at the BBC!!

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All smiles this morning on News 24, reporting the rises in those god forsaken towns in Scotland. Failing to mention all those places in the south that have had falling prices!!

Might be something to do with:-

Link

... and therefore trying to protect VI's interest at the BBC!!

Puplic sector salaries have overtaken the private sector in the UK--time to emigrate again I think.....

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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