How To Complain To The BBC
By Paul Homewood
We often have our whinges about the BBC, but what can we actually do about it?
As Joe Public points out, we can complain. This is Joe’s comment in full:-
Aunty has a long-winded ‘Complaints Procedure’. Takes about 5 – 10 mins to complete:
Corporate Policy seems to be boiler-plate rejection, in the hope that ‘kills’ 95%.
[It is not unknown for a complaint about web-page content to be initially ‘rejected’ but the offending web page to be altered/updated, but without the reason for the update to be acknowledged. They’re that sly.]
Persistence (not easy, ‘cos their system is designed for BBC convenience, not ‘customer’ convenience) generates a slightly more detailed explanation of why you’re wrong.
Things then get interesting.
A 3rd attempt gets you escalated to the BBC Editorial Complaints Director.
Should his response be not to your satisfaction, and if he deigns to offer no resistance, you can appeal the The BBC Trust.
Their rejection* of your complaint is extremely detailed.
*The Trust sadly fails to maintain 100% record of clean sheets, and some do actually succeed.
I urge potential complainants not to be put off by the above procedure. It’s only by complaining, that things get changed.
At the moment, Aunty is fighting to retain its existing cushy Telly-Tax funding; but significant numbers are objecting to being forced to pay for its flavours of political & scientific propaganda.
I have filed a couple of complaints this year, both still wending their through the labyrinthine procedures at the BBC, and they may well end up unsuccessful. What we do know is that the supposedly impartial process, right up to the BBC Trust level, is no such thing.
Nevertheless, if nothing else, it lets them know we are monitoring them, which is no bad thing. It also puts them to some effort in preparing their defences, and therefore may make them think twice the next time they are tempted to print inaccurate or biased material.
As Joe says, it does not take long to file the complaint initially. The two usual grounds would be:
For the best chance of success, you need to marshal your facts, rather than just launch into a moan. It is vital, however, that you keep a full record of your complaint, as the BBC tend to reject most, if not all, complaints at the first stage.
At this stage, you are allowed to resubmit your complaint in more detail, so you don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel.
If possible, keep screenshots and bookmark the original reports.
I am more than happy to assist anybody who wishes to complain with any factual information.