Misreporting on the Junior Doctors Strike

This morning, the rush-hour news programming on BBC Radio Leicester’s (6-10am) proved itself outstanding in its service to government propaganda.

The morning show led off with an interview with a woman whose child, because of the strike, had sadly had their non-urgent operation cancelled. Although evidently upset at missing the operation, the mother in question at least said on air: “I understand why they strike.”

The interviewer then moved onto the child’s grandmother, who was seemingly more critical of the strike, although she also acknowledged that talks between the government and doctors need to restart — something that the Junior Doctors full heartedly back.

Steering clear of a line of questioning that might elicit comments that might be construed supportive of the strike, the interviewer seemed intent on asking questions designed to invoke criticism like for instance “do you think [your grandson’s] health has been put at risk?”; and after hearing about her frustration with the strike, going with the classic “there may be more strikes in the future, what do you think about that?”

This story was then repeatedly played throughout the morning radio show, and just after eight they added Andrew Furlong, the Medical Director at Leicester’s hospitals, to their showreel – this time to determine how well the management at the hospital coped in spite of the strike.

Certainly this morning BBC Radio Leicester has shown where their sympathies lay – and that is not with our doctors who are valiantly fighting to save our health and of course the very future of a free National Health Service.

To end off their four hours of morning reporting, at around nine, another BBC interviewer visited Glenfield Hospital to find out about how the nurses were “Backing the Blues” – that is, by painting their ward blue in honour of Leicester City Football Club. There is of course nothing wrong with this as a news item, but it is startling that the reporter could find no time to even mention the ongoing Junior Doctors strike.

I, like the majority of the public in Leicester, definitely “Back the Blues”, but like most of the public I also back the Junior Doctors against the lying blues — the Tories.

To be fair, on yesterday’s morning program BBC Radio Leicester did interview doctors on the picket line (along with corporate managers), but it seems a little dubious that on the second day of this historically important all-out strike that the BBC journalists did not attempt to speak to the striking workers themselves.

It is plain to all, except perhaps the BBC and the rest of the corporate media, that the government is committed to the public disembowelment of our health services.


For a great book about the history of recent attacks on the NHS see Allyson Pollock, NHS Plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care; or this article by Dr Jackie Grunsell “60 years of the NHS: Public service or private cash cow?



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