A guest post by LPG.
It’s not what one looks for in an ‘impartial’ news organization: the uncritical passing on, in item after item after item, of the ‘finding’ that ‘selfish’ and ‘independent’ [read: in paid employment and/or single] mothers are responsible for the ‘poor conceptual development’ and ‘behavioural problems’ in our nations youth. The report rolls out over the coming week, so expect to see more of this double-standards blah blah. The BBC has been developing a taste for it. Look at the question asked in this BBC vox pop from last year, once again in connection with a dubious study. Now fantasize about them asking whether fathers (as opposed to mothers) should return to their jobs after having children.
Is the latest onslaught just sloppy journalism? Perhaps not. The ‘largest survey into childhood ever to be conducted in the UK’ is being presented as ‘independent’. Few of the broadcasted reports I’ve seen so far mention that the Church of England commissioned the report (through the Children’s Society or The Church of England’s Children Society as it refers to itself). Even a BBC journalist should know that this information really needs to be foregrounded, if only so that viewers can relax and go and make themselves a cup of tea. Some of the online pieces mention the Anglican connection but insist on the independence of this ‘evidence-based’ report, including the recommendation that we institute ‘civil birth ceremonies’. (Not baptisms, oh no.) The BBC even participated in the survey by providing children to talk to – one Established institution scratching another Established institution’s back, or a covert Anglican vanguard? Maybe an independent, evidence-based study of the BBC’s back catalogue would show up more indicators of its disguised but creeping influence. (Thanks to cmdshiftesc.)