Andrea James

Formal complaint filed against BBC's #Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?


Sam Bagnall produced the 2017 BBC2 special Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?

Today, UK-based charity Trans Media Watch filed a detailed complaint demonstrating the quantifiable bias evident in Bagnall’s special.

Prior to its airing, the specialĀ was the subject of widespread complaints by medical experts and activists who expressed concern about presenting ideas and practices affecting transgender children that were “no longer considered ethical.” The show prominently featured disgraced TorontoĀ researcher Kenneth Zucker. In 2016, Zucker wasĀ fired and had his clinic shut down after a review. In 2015, Ontario passed legislation making Zucker’sĀ anti-transgender reparative therapy illegal.

As with many biased journalists who paint Zucker as a martyr of “political correctness” or “anti-science” activists, Bagnall gave substantially more time to cover Zucker’s beliefs despite the appearance of being balanced to a lay audience.

Bagnall gave Zucker and his allies twice as much airtime in the piece for negative views, with all of that additional time in the second half. Via Trans Media Watch:

An analysis of the time in the programme allotted to each group (except filler) has revealed the following:

  • Total time given to ā€œpositive specialistsā€ 9 mins 21 secs
  • Total time given to ā€œpositive experiencesā€ 6 mins 41 secs
  • Total time given to ā€œnegative specialistsā€ 14 mins 32 secs
  • Total time given to ā€œnegative experiencesā€ 16 mins 21 secs

The full complaint can be downloaded here:

Much more to come on this matter.