New Challenges in the Coverage of Politics for UK Broadcasters and Regulators in the “Post-Truth” Environment

Ivor Gaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The last two years have been times of turbulence for the BBC, and other broadcasters, in terms of their coverage of UK politics. Their reporting of the general elections of 2015 and 2017, of the 2016 European Union Referendum and the 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party have been much criticised (as has that of other mainstream media outlets). And despite the rise of social media, the BBC remains the most used and most trusted source of news in the UK and hence is a vital element in the UK public sphere. Consequently, these journalistic failures—when its political coverage failed to reflect what turned out to be the reality on the ground - are particularly problematic. This brings into focus the issue of “the truth” in election and referendum campaigns. The example quoted here—about the Labour Party and antisemitism—illustrates the difficulties in arriving at the “truth”, even in the less frenetic atmosphere between campaigns. It demonstrates how there can be many truths and this, in itself, raises urgent questions about the nature of political journalism which pose challenges for public broadcasting in Britain with implications that go much wider.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1028
Number of pages10
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


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