TSSA complains about BBC’s Morning Star ‘blindspot’

The TSSA is to complain to the BBC about its refusal to feature the Morning Star in TV and radio newspaper reviews.

A motion overwhelmingly passed at the union’s national conference said it was “in the interest of democracy and knowledge” that the paper be included alongside other daily titles. The conference instructed the union’s executive committee to write to the public broadcaster to “voice our opposition to its long-standing ban against the Morning Star“, for which Jeremy Corbyn was previously a columnist and to which he still contributes.

TSSA national treasurer Jason Turvey said: “The Morning Star stands alone in this country as the only newspaper to be unashamedly of the left. While a newspaper with a modest circulation, the MS is an effective and vital counter-balance.
“Clearly banning newspapers… does not engender trust or faith in our public broadcaster, and this must be said loud and clear to the BBC.”
Morning Star editor Ben Chacko said: “The Morning Star is the only national daily paper that’s owned by its readers and the only one that provides a voice for the labour movement, with 10 national trade unions having maximum shareholdings and a seat on the management committee, including of course the TSSA.
“It provides an essential alternative in a media landscape dominated by wealthy press tycoons and Establishment voices which are predominately hostile to trade unions and the Labour Party. I’m grateful to TSSA for raising the important question of the BBC’s refusal to feature our paper in their reviews of the press and look forward to working with the union and its general secretary Manuel Cortes to press the broadcaster to change its ways.”
Sarah-Jane McDonagh, a conference delegate from the union’s Euston branch, said at the conference in Glasgow: “In the UK only five millionaires own 80 per cent of our newspapers. While the BBC continues to push the narrative determined by those billionaires, the working class voice will continued to be silenced.”
Malcolm Wallace, a delegate from Anglia South General branch, said: “Whatever its reality about its apparent impartiality, people had more trust in the BBC than any other established media. Not any more. The Morning Star is not afraid of being challenged, and regularly features letters and articles opposed to its editorial position, including one on Brexit by TSSA’s own general secretary.”
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