Please make sure you also sign and share the following petition as it specifically targets the Green Party's exclusion from the Leaders' Debates and already has over 110,000 signatures (use the hashtags #GreenPartyBlackout #GreenUprising and #InviteTheGreens when tweeting): https://www.change.org/p/bbc-itv-channel-4-sky-include-the-green-party-in-the-tv-leaders-debates-ahead-of-the-2015-general-election#
To: Tony Hall, Director General; Rona Fairhead, Chairman of the BBC Trust; Nick Robinson, Political Editor; Sue Inglish, Head of Political Programmes; James Harding, Director of News & Current Affairs.
BBC NEWS: STOP THIS MEDIA BLACKOUT OF THE GREEN PARTY
Give the Green Party adequate and fair coverage relative to their success.
Why is this important?
We feel the BBC News coverage of the European and Local Elections has, to date, been unfairly biased against the Green Party. This bias is not only evident in the almost complete absence of coverage of the Green Party during the European and Local Election results, but also prior to this during the campaign for the elections on Thursday 22nd May and in the months since.
Whilst we understand that UKIP made gains in the Local Elections, it has gone largely unreported that the Green Party currently have a total of 162 Councillors and are now the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Islington, Lewisham, and Norwich (15 councillors to Labour's 21). They gained two seats in Bristol, one with over 47% of the vote and retained a third seat, bringing the total to 6.
In addition to their many councillors, the Green Party also have one MP, one member of the House of Lords, three MEPs, three MSPs (Scottish Greens), two London Assembly members, as well as a Green-led Council in Brighton & Hove. UKIP don't have any MSPs, London Assembly members, or run a Council.
In the European Election coverage the Green Party were only very sporadically and reluctantly mentioned by the BBC. A representative of the Green Party (Leader Natalie Bennett) was not interviewed until 2:30am (26/5/14) on BBC One's Vote 2014, members of the other four parties were interviewed multiple times prior to this. The Today programme (R4) news summary at 8:30am (26/5/14) mentioned the Lib Dems in 5th place, but there was no mention of the Greens, let alone their being in 4th. These are just a couple of examples of the blatant refusal by the BBC to acknowledge the Green Party's successes.
Seeing as the results of the European Elections placed the Greens ahead of the Lib Dems they should surely be treated as a Major Party, especially as UKIP are treated as such whilst not having had an MP until four months after these elections took place. The Green's membership has increased by 45% since January. They should receive coverage reflective of their successes and a chance to share the political floor with Farage et al not only during and in the lead-up to elections, but also in the interim period on programmes such as Newsnight and Question Time and in any Leaders' Debates. Incidentally, from the beginning of January 2014 until 22nd May 2014 Question Time has featured five UKIP representatives and only one Green representative (Caroline Lucas).
Most despicable of all was how, in much of the BBC's coverage of the election results, the Green Party were consistently lumped in with the 'Others' category and often removed altogether from statistical evidence. This is an insult to the 8% who voted for them - 1.2million members of the British public.
The BBC prides itself on painting a fair and unbiased picture of events, however in this case we feel they have not done so. All parties should receive fair, impartial coverage, whether they be Left, Right, or Centre. This apparent news blackout of the Green Party by a much respected taxpayer-funded corporation is incredibly disturbing and must not be allowed to continue.
*This petition has been edited to keep its content up to date with the changing political climate*