The BBC is out of touch with large swathes of the public and is guity of self-censoring subjects that the corporation finds unpalatable, an official report has claimed.
As part of the report's research the BBC's own controller of editorial policy admitted that people felt that the corporation was guilty of a "bias of omission" by not covering their views.
Authors of the report called on the corporation to be more "open-minded" in the views it reflects and warned against "bias of elimination" which it branded "offensive".
The report noted that the BBC had "come late" to several important stories in recent years, including Euroscepticism and immigration , which as it happens, were "off limits" in terms of a liberal-minded comfort zone".
Research for the 80-page report showed that viewers were "frustrated" by political correctness at the BBC and feel the corporation is dominated by a London-centric bias, reflected in its programmes, presenters and coverage.
The report, which was commissioned by the BBC and written by independent programme-maker John Bridcut, also warned that if the BBC's viewers did not feel that the corporation was reflecting their lives and attitudes people would lose faith in it.
Their review hit out at programme-makers for misjudging where "cultural mainstream" opinion stood and for wanting to "swim" against popular opinion.
Staff were told to avoid imposing their own liberal assumptions on the audience and told to "embrace a broader range of opinion".
In the report, a news and current affairs producer recalled an instance where he had proposed a Newsnight investigation into the subject of "abortion on demand" but had been accused of being "anti-abortion" for even suggesting the idea which was not pursued.
Roger Mosey, former head of television news at the BBC, now head of sport, is also quoted as saying the corporation displays "fairly overt support" for multiculturalism.
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He also admitting having some sympathy with claims of a "liberal/pinko" agenda at times.
He recalled a news item about ethnic communities becoming the majority in parts of east London, where a reporter had told him that they had "worked really hard" to find a white resident who was happy with the situation.
Research in the review also found that even ethnic minorities felt that political correctness had gone to far and others said it was diluting comedy and entertainment at the broadcaster and complained of a "restrictive mind-set".
Authors of the report called for a "periodic reality check" on shows like The Archers and Casualty as well as news programmes.
The Archers has at times come under fire for losing its rural culture with increasingly metropolitan storylines.
It suggested that the broadcaster had been late in picking up on "pavement politics" such as concern over the loss of weekly rubbish collections and had been "caught on the hop" by the success of UKIP in the 2004 elections.
It warned of the dangers of an "institutional bias" in favour of stories generated by parliament rather than stories with populist roots.
The report also urged the BBC not to "close down the debate" on climate change, despite the corporation admitting that it no longer felt it necessary to justify equal space being given to opponents of the consensus on the issue.
The broadcaster's Oscar's coverage also came in for criticism over the presenters who were "transfixed by the glitz" in an "impartiality free zone' and called on the BBC to clamp down on its journalists becoming "opinion merchants ".
It also faced claims of political correctness over Muslim terrorist suspects who were arrested last summer. One member of the public surveyed for the report claimed: "I think the BBC is too politically correct. The BBC were saying '21 men have been arrested' and I thought 'what's happening?' So I flicked over to Sky and it says '21 Asian men have been arrested." The report claims that the BBC's editorial advisory department and its recently formed College of Journalism need an extended role so that impartiality is addressed much earlier in the production process.
It claims that impartiality should remain the "hallmark" of the BBC and said the balanced natureof its reporting was an "essential part" of the BBC's contract with its audience.
The report singled out hit sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley and a season of programmes on Africa.
An episode of The Vicar Of Dibley featured Dawn French promoting the Make Poverty History campaign.
"The implication was that the cause was universal and uncontroversial, whereas the Make Poverty History website made clear that it had contentious political goals," the report said.
Nowhere in the episode was it pointed out that the writer Richard Curtis was himself spearheading the campaign.
The report also quoted a senior BBC executive as saying that impartiality in the Africa season was "as safe as a blood bank in the hands of Dracula".
The report makes a series of 12 recommendations, or "guiding principles", which have been approved and adopted by the corporation.
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