Jil Matheson to lead review on BBC reporting of stats

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

An independent review, led by former national statistician Dame Jil Matheson, has been commissioned by the BBC Trust to look at whether the BBC's news and current affairs programming is reporting statistics impartially.

The review will assess whether the BBC is 'giving audiences sufficient context, challenge and critical analysis when presenting statistics to allow them to have an informed understanding of controversial subjects and areas of public policy'.

It will be the seventh in a series of impartiality reviews carried out for the Trust as part of its commitment to ensure that the BBC's output is accurate and impartial. Previous impartiality reviews have looked at the BBC’s of coverage of topics including rural areas, business, the UK nations, science and the ‘Arab Spring'. 

Dame Jil said she was 'delighted' to be chairing the review, adding: 'Statistics can enrich democratic debate and public policy but used without care they can also confuse. Reviews like this are vital to ensure that the BBC is providing audiences with reporting they can trust.' Paul Johnson, the current director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, will also be on the panel and one further panellist is still to be announced.

The full terms of reference can be found on the BBC Trust website. The review is expected to be published in summer 2016.

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