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BBC News for phones and tablets

Excuse my rant. I feel it’s important.

In the USA it seems there are two choices of mainstream news: biased or irrelevant.

Plainly put, the First Amendment of that double-edged sword known as the United States Constitution lets any media channel say anything they damned well please and label it truth, unbiased, fair, naziism—really whatever they want. A majority of the rest of the world thinks less of Americans because “they” voted in Bush Junior not once but twice, but it really wasn’t their fault. Blame Fox News, the dominant force in news broadcasting in the US, who disturbingly tagline themselves “Fair and Balanced”. (Who says Americans don’t know the meaning of irony?) Anyone who watches Jon Stewart’s Daily Show knows of Fox News’s incessant and unrelenting untruths favouring the Republican and “Tea” Parties. Stewart makes good fun of Fox News, but when they have the power to empower governments who start wars and don’t regulate against world recessions, it really gets beyond shits ’n’ giggles.

The horrific and inevitable thing is, a lot of American “folks” take Fox News as read. It’s on TV and it sounds real and, quite often, scary. Not being told otherwise, why wouldn’t they believe it?

(The lefties also have their news outlets, but being lefties they’re much less combative and a lot fairer, and therefore less compelling—especially as they’re ignoring all the frightening stuff Fox News is “covering.”)

In the UK, on the other hand, if a media outlet distorts the truth, touts lies as honesty, or even badmouths someone absolutely unfairly, the Press Complaints Commission has the authority to, and indeed will, publicly kick the offending organisation’s arse into next week. This is how it should be.

The BBC is rightfully known as having the finest news output in the world, and it is, by law and by its own code of conduct, distinctly not full of lies, opinions, scaremongering or commercial interest (as the Beeb is funded by its viewers and not advertising). Plainly put, that US First Amendment should, ironically, make Americans sprint away from their home-grown news and toward something that they can believe in: news from Blighty.

Thankfully the truly worldwide coverage of BBC news is available online and also with the free and great BBC News app for all the usual mobile OSs. On the iPhone in my pocket, its very recently fixed-up and always looking-sharp app lets you choose the sections you want headlined and put them in any order, watch quality news report videos, listen to live BBC News radio, and most importantly it lets you believe what you read to be the truth—or at least that which is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Speaking as a Brit and an American resident, it really shows up the US news for the scary bullshit it really is. Us British should be proud.

, 09 February 2011

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