Does the BBC have an agenda in its coverage of town?

Areas of Ipswich that were shown in news reports on David Camerons visit to the town

Areas of Ipswich that were shown in news reports on David Camerons visit to the town - Credit: Archant

I WAS really angered by BBC national news’ coverage of Ipswich last week – but I really should not have been surprised!

I’ve long suspected that the BBC national newsroom likes to pigeon-hole places across the country to fit in with the views of those controlling the news agenda.

I don’t know if Nick Robinson ever calls in to Ipswich on the way to his holiday home at Orford, but I really would have thought that the corporation’s political editor could have asked the news gatherers to get a more balanced view.

By taking the cameras to Upper Orwell Street and Carr Street, they must have known they would be showing off the town at its worst.

Ipswich is a place that the BBC seems to have consigned in its files along with Barnsley, Rotherham, and Crawley as “third-rate.”

During Steve Wright’s reign of terror I was invited on to a Radio Five Live phone-in show (broadcast at 8pm on a Saturday evening so I’m under no illusions that it had a big audience!) to explain why the town was not a bad place to live.

Unsurprisingly the national (and international) focus on the place had been pretty negative over the previous few days.

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But the presenter said: “I arrived here this morning and looked around and it strikes me as not a bad place to live – the port area is really taking off (UCS was then being built) and the (Christchurch) park is one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

I asked why she was surprised. Did she think the murders had turned the whole town into a dump?

Her response was just that Ipswich wasn’t a place with great reputation, even before the murders.

Why has the BBC accepted that and retained a determination to reinforce it on the rare occasions that its national cameras come here?

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