The Daily Mail often claims the BBC is run by “Guardian-reading lefties” – but new figures reveal that the corporation buys more copies of Paul Dacre’s paper than any other.
Using a freedom of information request, Press Gazette got the facts on how many of each national paper the BBC bought in 2014.
They showed that the BBC buys more copies of the Mail (78,463), the Times (77,167), the Daily Telegraph (75,308), the Sun (66,202), the Independent (61,339) and the Daily Mirror (60,528) than the Guardian (45,672).
It bought fewer copies of the Daily Star (17,988), Financial Times (40,253) and Daily Express (42,263).
Among the Sunday papers, the Sunday Times (9,035) was the most popular, followed by the Observer (7,620), Mail on Sunday (7,591), Sunday Telegraph (7,243) and Independent on Sunday (6,079).
In 2013, an FoI request revealed that the BBC bought more copies of the Guardian (68,307) than the Telegraph (57,763), the Times (59,490) and the Mail (55,532).
The Mail regularly turns to the figures to bash the BBC. As recently as last week, it said in an editorial claiming the corporation had failed to mention Edward Snowden had not read all of the files he leaked: “Then again, with the BBC buying more copies of the Guardian than any other newspaper, is its leftwing, metropolitan bias really still a surprise?”
Monkey wonders whether the latest figures reflect a shift towards the right at the BBC – but doubts very much whether they will prompt the Mail to ease up in its attacks.