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BBC ‘independent’ fact-checkers funded by UK government & Daily Mail

The BBC is reportedly allowing its ‘independent’ Science Media Centre to dictate editorial policy. Except the SMC is not independent. Rather, it is funded by industry and is renowned for pushing corporate interests and anti-environmentalism. It counts BP, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and the UK government as its major funders, along with the Daily Mail.

Recently the British Medical Journal published a report compiled by researchers from various universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and University College London which suggested as many as 120,000 people have died as a result of Tory austerity since 2010:

Unlike other media outlets, the BBC refused to report the story, claiming its ‘independent’ scientific advisers had recommended they ignore the figures, because they were “highly speculative” and should be treated with “caution”:

So who is this mysterious ‘Science Media Centre’, which is so influential on the BBC that when it comes to science, its opinion trumps the British Medical Journal and both Oxford and Cambridge Universities?

Shockingly, it turns out the SMC is not independent at all. It is an organisation with a history of pushing corporate interests as well as anti-environmentalism, funded by industry and headed by a controversial genocide-denying journalist, Fiona Fox, who has no background in science and who was awarded an OBE by the Tories in 2013.

Remarkably, apart from industry giants such as BP, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, the SMC’s biggest funders include the UK government:

Oh, and don’t forget the Daily Mail:

So totally unbiased and completely independent then …

PS: Here’s an opinion from the US, that claims the SMC will never work over there because Americans would not be gullible enough to fall for its claims of independence:

Plans to replicate Britain’s Science Media Centre in the US fraught with danger

Listen guys. We’re in real trouble if Americans think we’re more gullible than they are…

This piece was originally published on Pride’s Purge and was reproduced with permission of the author.

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