'Spiteful' BBC article could damage Solihull enterprise says MP - The Solihull Observer

'Spiteful' BBC article could damage Solihull enterprise says MP

Solihull Editorial 31st Oct, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016   0

A ‘SNEERING and spiteful’ article by the BBC could ‘potentially damage’ an enterprise which brings hundreds of job to Solihull, claims one MP.

Julian Knight wrote a letter to Lord Tony Hall, the BBC’s director general, about the piece called ‘Resorts World Birmingham: How does it compare’ by Bethan Bell.

Mr Knight said the nature of the review style piece, published on the company’s website on October 21, was to find ‘fault and potential means to do down a fantastic new local business’.

He added in a competitive market, where first impressions counted, an article like this could well endanger hundreds of jobs in the area.

“In all frankness, this article reads like a hatchet job not out of place in the pages of a less reputable newspaper,” he said.

“I ask simply, is this what the BBC is meant to do? How is this article in any way related to Reithian values you purport to hold?”

Mr Knight said it had been published at a time when the BBC’s lack of investment and care for the West Midlands had not only been a matter of a Parliamentary debate, but a wider conversation in the public and media.

“This article will only go to further undermine the reputation of the public sector broadcast element of the BBC in my constituency and the wider West Midlands,” he added.

“I ask for a full explanation of the editorial process involved in the publication of this article, and a reassurance those responsible will think carefully about the wider duty to our community and understanding we as a country should be welcoming of international investment such as Genting International Resorts World.”

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The tone of the BBC article is disappointing but we know that Resorts World will become a tremendous asset not only for the Greater Birmingham region but nationally and internationally too.”

A BBC spokeswoman said they took investments in the region seriously, including their own ones which had gone up by 50 per cent in the last two years to £125million.

“This light-hearted story was just one part of our comprehensive coverage of Resorts World across radio, TV and online.

“BBC West Midlands is proud to reflect the growing global investment in Birmingham through our output and we will continue to reflect the diversity of opportunity, communities and events in our region.

“This includes, occasionally, taking an affectionately offbeat look at local life, reflecting the famous sense of humour of people in the West Midlands.”

Solihull Council refused to comment.


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