Our first official complaint to the BBC – a Newsnight episode on domestic abuse/violence breaches 50+ BBC Editorial Guidelines

[A Voice for Men published this piece 22.1.14 – the comment stream will probably be worth looking at, as usual with AVfM:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/j4mb-official-complaint-to-the-bbc-newsnight-piece-on-domestic-violence-was-in-breach-of-50-bbc-guidelines/ ]

The BBC has a long track record of following feminist and other left-wing narratives, and a glaring example is their coverage of domestic abuse/violence (‘DA’). For many years the BBC’s narratives have been solely – or almost solely – about female victims and male perpetrators, despite an overwhelming body of evidence showing that women are often perpetrators of DA, and men often victims. There are occasional balancing pieces, including this one on (surprisingly) Woman’s Hour, on 10 October 2013:


While such pieces exist, they’re rare – Woman’s Hour generally follows feminist narratives, as we’d expect. Other high-audience BBC programmes which are even keener on following those narratives includes the flagship news programmes Today and Newsnight. A particularly bad example on the Newsnight episode of 5 April 2013:


Late in the evening of 7 January 2014 we received a large number of emails from supporters appalled at that evening’s episode of Newsnight. Not only was there a piece on the programme concerning menacing tweets sent to Caroline Criado-Perez – a subject the BBC has covered at inordinate length on many occasions – but more importantly to our supporters, a lengthy piece on DA failed to mention male victims and female perpetrators:


Our blog piece on the matter:


We decided it was time to send our first official complaint to the BBC, and to increase our chances of having an impact we decided to focus on the 7 January episode, and scrutinised the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines in detail. This link http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/ will take you through to those guidelines, which are viewable online and downloadable as a PDF (215 pages).

There are three documents associated with our complaint. The cover letter:

140120 letter to BBC re Newsnight 7 January 2014 – FINAL DRAFT

Our critique of BBC Editorial Guidelines in connection with the complaint, showing the Newsnight piece breached 50+ guidelines:

140120 Newsnight report’s breaches of BBC Editorial Guidelines – FINAL DRAFT

Dr Nicola Graham-Kevan’s slides from last year’s presentation to the National Conference for Male Victims of Domestic Violence:

140108 Nicola Graham-Kevan presentation, ‘Female perpetrators of intimate partner violence’

We’ll post the BBC’s response online as soon as we receive it. In the meantime we invite you to submit your own complaint about the Newsnight episode. First online page about making a complaint http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints. If you wish to make a complaint online start here http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/. Key pieces of advice:

Try to restrict yourself to one complaint, this increases your chance of getting a substantive response

Clarify you’re making a complaint, as distinct from a comment, and you require a written response

Ensure the BBC receives your complaint (whether by mail or online) by 5 February

Feel free to email me mike@j4mb.org.uk if you receive an interesting response to your complaint.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Hi Mike – will do, hugely impressed as always.

    • Thanks Peter. Now that required the burning of some midnight oil!

  • Thank you for burning that midnight oil. Also thanks for posting the good Doctor’s latest presentation. It is scandalous that Dr Graham-Kevan, Professor Archer and their colleagues are ignored and worse by the very people who should use the very best evidence to address DV. After over a decade they deserve plaudits for their patient work.
    Rather than lazy journalism it does look like deliberate editorial policy.

  • Complaint submitted. Have also promoted this article elsewhere leading to at least one other person making a complaint too.

  • vadark

    Stunningly fantastic work, Mike, I take my hat off to you, give a bow, salute, shake your hand and worship your very existence for taking the time to put together such a comprehensively constructed complaint, which quite frankly ought to get some pretty serious attention. I’d be hugely surprised if something doesn’t come out of this as a positive and if we do come out on the winning side I’d be poised and ready, armed with a list of UK newspapers to send the story to. It’s about time the BBC got a thrashing for all the deceitful lying and misleading ‘facts’ that they have spewed over the last few decades. The BBC aren’t the only culprits, though; ALL of the media are involved in this outrageous feminist agenda. This could be big, I can feel it!

    • Thanks V, very kind. If a complaint that in one piece alone the BBC has trampled on 50+ of its own Editorial Guidelines doesn’t have an impact… well!

      • I think the usual response is for the BBC to deny and reject most complaints (maybe accepting the smallest amount of wrongdoing but pretending it was accidental or not so bad). This then means you have to escalate the complaint up through various levels.

        I hope it gets taken seriously straight away, but just a heads up that there may be quite a bit more work needed.

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  • tamerlame

    “The BBC has a long track record of following feminist and other left-wing narratives, and a glaring example is their coverage of domestic abuse/violence ”

    Is feminism really left wing? I don’t see this as a left vs right issue.

    I think keeping this a non-political spectrum issue is important. I think the left vs right is a waste of energy.

    It doesn’t matter what your political spectrum is, you should want to support ceratin things. (Like strong families headed by men.) Because certain things are proven to work and should be non-political.

    You will get the typical left winger seeing you call the BBC left wing and he will be baffled, he will consider the BBC right wing.

    BBC is a arm of the state, it will do whatever the state tells it to do at the end of the day.

    Anyway keep on the good work. Just thought I would offer my advice, feel free to ignore if you consider it useless, lol

    • Thanks Tamerlane. Feminism undoubtedly has left-wing roots. It’s an example of Marxist dualism. Marx had ‘bourgeoisis = good’ / ‘proletariat = bad’ and called for the second group to overthrow the first. The feminists moved the goalposts so ‘women = good’, / ‘men = bad’. All men are part of the patriarchy and the patriarchy must be overthrown.

      If anyone sees the BBC as right-wing, he/she is in need of therapy. But I agree the solution(s) to the problem of feminism will come from both the left and right. J4MB has socially conservative policies, but little that left-wingers might object to. We try to avoid the left/right thing where we can. It was just relevant to the BBC.

      • tamerlame

        I deleted a long reply. What I wrote really interested me but I decided not to hijack this place. This place is doing a good job and focusing on advocacy is important.

        I do think the BBC is a mixture of left and right though. Also the mainstream left and right share a lot of ideas and beliefs, you are only going to get along in the BBC if you believe in bland middle of the road stuff and follow the politically correct orthodoxy

        Anyway I think you have had a good run of articles recently. Keep up the good work.

        PS: I sent a email offering to volunteer a few weeks back. I know you most likely have nothing going right now. If you ever have a need for someone to hand out leaflets or something, I will gladly do it for free!

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