On August 10th the BBC Trust published the findings of a review of the impartiality of the BBC’s reporting of statistics in its news and current affairs output which was commissioned in 2015. The report, together with accompanying documents, is accessible here.
Titled “Making Sense of Statistics”, the report makes interesting reading, although it has a somewhat domestic focus. While it does not address the issue of the BBC’s presentation of casualty figures during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, some of its observations, conclusions and recommendations are pertinent to the corporation’s portrayal of that topic both at the time and since.
On page 17, the report addresses the topic of audience expectations.
“Audiences expect that numbers are accurate, factual and verified, that claims that are wrong or misleading are challenged, and that a range of evidence is used to put statistical claims into context…
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