BBC an infamous propaganda machine long before India documentary saga
Published: Feb 22, 2023 08:50 PM
Fake news is like Pinocchio's nose, the more you lie, the longer it grows. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Fake news is like Pinocchio's nose, the more you lie, the longer it grows. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT


British MP Jim Shannon has claimed that the raids by Indian tax authorities on the BBC's Delhi and Mumbai offices are a "blatant attack on press freedoms," according to UK media reports on Tuesday.

The accusations came after the BBC's offices in India were raided as part of a tax investigation by Indian authorities. However, some British politicians deliberately linked it to India's actions against a BBC documentary known as "India: The Modi Question" aired in January.

According to Song Luzheng, a research fellow at Fudan University, the BBC made the documentary against the backdrop of the West's disfavor of Modi's governing style and the UK's unease toward the rapid development of India, a former colony of the UK.

The BBC, as a typical Western media outlet, claims to be objective and fact-based. Nonetheless, it's not reporting facts but doing opinion journalism. In essence, it's a propaganda machine that serves the Western imperialism. The BBC is not a news media outlet in the common sense, but a tool to attack other countries that the West does not see eye to eye with. The BBC knows it is just a propaganda tool, but when it is confronted, it touts press freedom. When British politicians defend the BBC as a national treasure, they ignore the fact that this propaganda machine has long been infamous in other countries.

As Chinese netizens put it, the BBC reports China with a "gloom filter." That's why the sky over Chinese cities is always murky, cloudy, misty and polluted in BBC's video about China. 

Meanwhile, the West adopts its own set of values and standards -- it only agrees with what fits their standards and bans whatever doesn't fit the standards. In early 2021, the UK regulator ofcom revoked the broadcast license of the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN in the UK because of its coverage of the Hong Kong protests. When the UK suppressed Chinese media outlets using various excuses, why did it turn a blind eye to the fabrication and neglect of justice of its own media?

Song from Fudan University told the Global Times that the West will not reflect on their double standards; in other words, there is no such a word as "double standards" in their dictionary.

"Rather, the West believes it is the rightful one. The hostility, extreme prejudice and neglect of professionalism of Western media reflects their arrogance and supremacist mentality," said Song.

Song believes that although the West has been wooing India currently for geopolitical reasons, the fact that India's GDP last year exceeded that of the UK has hurt the dignity of the UK, especially due to the UK's imperialist mind-set over India. 

Nie Shujiang, an associate professor at the Guangming School of Journalism and Communication of China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times that the way of reporting by Western media shows their degradation. 

"The mainstream Western media, represented by the BBC, and the interest groups behind them are losing their long-held cultural taste and standard of values. Against the trend of 'the East is rising and the West is declining,' they resort to smear and deception to fool their own people and the international community," said Nie.

The international status of a country's media is determined by the strength of the country and its adherence to media ethics. The BBC has lost the latter, and the UK is losing the former. The days when Western countries ask for economic benefits from developing countries while demanding them to be loyal to Western values are long gone.