‘The Guardian’ most widely bought paper at BBC

The Commentator said the BBC has a heavily disproportionate number of Guardian readers among its staff.

August 16, 2012 03:29
2 minute read.

BBC 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

LONDON – The Guardian is the most widely purchased and read newspaper at the BBC, according to a report by a London- based current affairs website.

In response to a Freedom of Information request raised by The Commentator news portal, the BBC said it buys more copies of The Guardian than any other British newspaper.

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Any person, regardless of age, nationality or location, can submit a request for information.

The Freedom of Information Act allows anyone to ask any public body for all the information they have on any subject. The organization must provide the information within 20 working days.

According to the information released by the BBC’s procurement department, between April 2010 and February 2011, the BBC bought nearly 60,000 copies of The Guardian – 8,000 more than The Times in second place. At the bottom of the list was Scottish newspaper Daily Record, with only 1,486 copies purchased.

The Commentator said the BBC has a heavily disproportionate number of Guardian readers among its staff. The news portal also said that the BBC has a disproportionate influence on national debate in a whole range of areas.

“Two of Britain’s most popular right-of-center newspapers, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, combined have a circulation of some 2.3 million compared to The Independent and The Guardian, which weigh in at just over 320,000,” said the portal.

“Odd then, that despite besting their axis of left-wing rivals by seven times in the national market, the BBC procures almost 10,000 less copies of the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph in the period displayed,” The Commentator said.

The BBC declined to comment, saying only that the figures are available and in the public domain.

“If people needed further proof to understand why the BBC and The Guardian’s editorial lines seem so in tune, they need look no further than this evidence,” said Raheem Kassam, The Commentator’s executive editor. “On issues such as the National Health Service, economy and most recently the Israeli capital, it is little wonder why the tax-payer-funded BBC is effectively a state-funded mouthpiece for The Guardian.

“Looking at the general lines on Israel taken by both organizations, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were one and the same. The fact is The Guardian and the BBC are far too inextricably linked and this bond must be broken,” he said.

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