(PatriotWise.com) — A reporter from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has come under fire for hugging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a press conference in the UK.
The BBC is funded by a compulsory tax in Britain and is therefore subject to strict impartiality rules. However, when called upon to ask questions of the President, the Ukrainian BBC reporter said she wanted to hug him but wasn’t allowed to. Zelensky, to applause from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, nonetheless came forward and embraced the reporter.
The BBC’s impartiality guidelines place emphasis on the behavior of journalists and how this must show no bias or reveal the personal views of the reporter. “Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal opinions of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy,” the guidance states.
The BBC could once be expected to adhere to those guidelines but public trust in its impartiality is at an all-time low. A YouGov poll from 2019 revealed that less than half of the British public trust the BBC to refrain from political bias. One of the corporation’s most prominent newsreaders in the 1980s and 1990s said that left-wing bias was in the BBC’s DNA. In 2022, a presenter was taken off the air when she was found to have broken impartiality rules by expressing “glee” that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was standing down from the race to be the leader of the ruling Conservative Party. Following Johnson’s announcement, presenter Martine Croxall asked, “Am I allowed to be this gleeful? Well I am.”
Ukrainian President Zelensky was in the UK to ask for its continued support for his country’s war against Russia. Prime Minister Sunak said the UK will provide battle tanks but has not confirmed if it will also donate fighter jets to the embattled Eastern European nation. Sunak did however tell the press that “nothing is off the table.”
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