The BBC has opened itself up to accusations of left-wing bias after it was revealed that it buys more than 1,300 copies of the Guardian every week.
- Guardian is the second most popular paper at BBC which ordered 69,212 copies
- It cost the Corporation a total of £139,260 last year although it is free online
- The BBC also ordered a total of 6,407 copies of the Guardian’s sister paper the Observer, which is published on Sundays at a total cost of £18,621
- It ordered 63,222 copies of the Daily Mail – the most popular paper in the country
The Corporation ordered 69,212 copies of the left-leaning newspaper, which has a relatively small circulation and is free to view on the internet.
Although the Guardian has a small circulation among the public, the paper was the second most ordered by the Beeb and cost the Corporation a total of £139,260 last year.
The full figures reveal that the BBC spend more than £40,000-per-year more on the Guardian than any other newspaper.
The BBC also ordered a total of 6,407 copies of the Guardian’s sister paper the Observer, which is published on Sundays at a total cost of £18,621.
In the daily newspaper market the BBC ordered 63,222 copies of the Daily Mail and 56,317 copies of the Sun, which are the two most popular papers in the country.
The BBC’s spend on daily papers in the 2016-17 financial year
- Guardian 69,212 £139,260
- Daily Telegraph 65,192 £98,029
- Financial Times 36,092 £97,674
- Times 70,605 £96,151
- Daily Mail 63,222 £42,167
- Daily Mirror 52,753 £35,597
- The Sun 56,317 £28,661
- Daily Express 32,316 £17,941
- Daily Star 14,439 £4,184
In the Sunday newspaper market the BBC spent the most money last year, £19,308, on buying a total of 7,946 copies of the Sunday Times.
The Corporation also bought 6,541 copies of the Mail on Sunday, 6,407 copies of the Observer and 6,315 copies of the Sunday Telegraph.
The newspaper buying figures were released by the BBC under Freedom of Information Act laws.
In total the Beeb’s newspaper bill comes to £559,664 for its Monday to Saturday papers and another £81,493 for its Sunday editions.
A spokesman for the Freedom Association, said: ‘I can understand the BBC purchasing the printed editions of newspapers for things like newspaper reviews, however, producers looking for stories don’t need physical copies of newspapers in front of them.
‘Considering that most of the content is free online, and that digital subscriptions are much cheaper for newspapers like the Telegraph and The Times, it must be possible for the corporation to lower costs.’
A BBC spokesman said: ‘As an impartial international news broadcaster with 3 rolling TV news channels, 28 foreign language services, daily paper reviews as well as various radio and TV current affairs programmes our viewers rightly expect our presenters, journalists and expert contributors to be across all the day’s stories in all the UK newspapers.
‘The BBC has secured a discount through its service contract ensuring value for money.’