BBC politics editor attempts to defuse ‘bombshell’ bias claim

BBC politics editor Nick Robinson has used his weblog to defend his reporting against claims of political bias.

Readers of Mr Robinson, who pioneered reporter blogging at the BBC with the nascent Newslog in 2001 before heading for ITV, took him to task last week when he wrote that news of John Prescott’s affair came as a “bombshell” when it was actually purported to be widespread gossip among lobby correspondents.

Mr Robinson clarified the remark online in response to protests that in-the-know journalists should have lifted the lid on the affair, and entered the fray a second time to scotch concerns the BBC had “censored” the story in return for an exclusive interview with Tony Blair.

The revelatory back-and-forth illustrates the changing relationship between reader and reporter and was prompted by other political bloggers and commenters, several of whom commend Mr Robinson for engaging with his audience.