All the coverage of the thing currently happening in the UK has me currently waxing introspective about my own writing and what I do.
It’s tricky, because what do I do? At the moment, it’s mainly writing about science. You could say it’s journalism.
On the other hand I’m moaning about the government on my blog and on Twitter, which is hardly objective, is it? Does it matter if my area is science?
It occurs to me that, for all the hot water the BBC and ITV have found themselves in, the criticism has mainly called out a lack of impartiality, even when, lately, it’s been a lack of accuracy that’s been a much more serious issue.
I don’t want to get into the bias of any particular journalist, but I will say that the BBC seems to be hamstrung by its impartial remit. On the one hand, if it doesn’t get all sides of a story across, it’s going to come under fire for bias. But on the other, in doing so, it can be accused of lending a megaphone to extremist or objectively incorrect views. And it’s probably impossible for any one report or reporter to have zero bias.
Maybe it’s time the beeb got out of the news business. They’re so good at so many other things. Of course, I can’t say I’m impartial, but I try not to hide my biases: I believe there’s a climate crisis. I believe the rise in right-wing ideology is dangerous and I think the rise in a polarising leftism to combat it is also dangerous. And I believe in calling out bollocks. And yes I’m a remainer, and no, I don’t vote tory.
I think I’m comfortable at squaring all of that and writing about science, but it’s a conversation I’ll keep having with myself in the days ahead. But I’ll try to stop moaning about politics. Not because of bias but because I know that it’s incredibly boring for people.