Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Dmitriy Sudakov

What will be the lies of the British Broadcasting Corporation this time?

The BBC has gained fame in the journalistic world as a reliable source of information, since its creation in 1922. Therefore one would expect its reports to be objective and free from personal opinion. Will this be what we find? Let us see...

Unfortunately, not. Well, not in the case of Russia, where systematically, this British Corporation presents negative images. Instead of focussing on matters which reflect and affect the lives of Russians, like for example the growing and constant improvement in buying power and the standard of living, particularly in recent years, we find instead bias, politically motivated hostility and lies. Basically, propaganda, which belongs to the annals of yesteryear, to the Cold War from which the west apparently has a chronic disability to recover.

Emma Simpson, the BBC correspondent, does not speak of this economic reality in her report of 21st February. Nothing about the increase in salaries, in pensions, reliability of economic indicators, the fact that Russian institutions gain space daily in the lists of risk factors for investment.

Emma Simpson apparently saw nothing of this in Russia – or did not want to. Which dustbin did she go raking through to find something negative to say about Russia and Russians for her British readers?

Instead of staying in Moscow, which would have been the easy option, and where she would have found a wealth of reliable information about the reality of daily life in Russia today, Emma Simpson, evidently a close relative of Homer or Bart, travelled to central Russia, where she landed in the city of Tver. How interesting. Perhaps to tell us about the excellent conditions provided for investors in the Tver region by the local authorities? No. Or about the initiatives to attract tourism, open doors, create bridges and so on? No, also not. Then how about the city’s wonderful 800-year history? Nope.

Those who bother to visit the BBC site will be aware that the last time this corporation spoke about Tver, it was to talk about the bears in the nearby forest, being decimated by cruel Russian hunters.

This time, it was not the forest but the local hospital where Emma Simpson concentrated her search. After all, hospitals are always a fine source for sad stories. For example, an accident victim could provide a catalyst for a story about alcoholism or some nonsense about Russia’s road system.

However, it was not in the emergency ward where Emma Simpson went to rake the dirt, it was in the maternity ward, where she came across four babies, two of them born to mothers with AIDS. Bingo! Then open the floodgates of insanity for this journalist, who must have found her diploma in a packet of soap powder, at the bottom, that is.

Some gems from her piece “Russia’s abandoned HIV children”

“Russia is quick to reject those with HIV”

“If they (the babies) are lucky it will be only for 18 months - the time it takes doctors in Russia officially to diagnose whether children are HIV-positive”. (In fact it takes a few days).

Or contradictions such as this:

“Latest figures show 22,000 babies have been born to HIV-positive women. And many are being abandoned by their mothers into the care of the state”. A few lines later on, she admits that this is not the case. On average, with 10% of children born to HIV positive mothers:

“In Russia, some 20 babies are born every day to HIV-positive women, with two of those, on average, abandoned by their mothers”.

Yet another fine example of the trash which is smeared on the pages of this once noble institution, which today serve only to stack in a nice, neat pile on the bathroom floor. Beside the “throne”.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY