AS a former journalist and elected politician I have always had a professional and personal interest in the media. Fortunate enough to have worked in the news both abroad and at home, I have a big interest in how it is presented.

In particular I have always been a big fan of the newspaper review, which is normally a great way to hear the different angles to a story from different places.

For years I had the good fortune to prepare and present the press review on Austrian public radio, which was based on the BBC World Service “Europe Today” review.

The news sources were from right across Europe. From France it might be Le Monde or Le Figaro; from Spain El Pais or La Vanguardia; from Italy Corriere della Sera or La Repubblica; from northern Europe Dagens Nyheter in Sweden and Helsingin Sanomat in Finland; from central Europe, Der Standard or Die Presse in Vienna; and from Poland, the really tricky ones to pronounce, Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita. There were many others too, but you get the idea that it was important to reflect different news sources and stories from different countries.

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At the start of this week I was keen to hear details of the European Parliament elections results from different nations so I tuned into Deutschlandfunk, the German public broadcasting equivalent of the BBC. Just as I did, they started their morning newspaper review. What was striking was that they had headlines and news angles from newspapers right across Germany, including both national titles and regionals.

The review started with the Freie Presse from Chemnitz; then the Rheinische Post from Düsseldorf; then the Frankfurter Rundschau and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from Frankfurt; then the Badischen Neuesten Nachrichten from Karlsruhe; then Der Tagesspiegel and the TAZ Tageszeitung from Berlin; then the Süddeutsche Zeitung from Munich; then the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger from Cologne; then the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung from Osnabrück and finally the Landshuter Zeitung from Bavaria.

Chances are that you’ve heard of some of those newspapers, but many others will be totally new to you.

Point is, German public radio thinks it is important to reflect media coverage, journalism, news content and analysis from across the whole country. Compare and contrast that with the UK’s flagship radio news equivalent: BBC Radio 4 and its morning press review, which usually appears in two stages during the Today programme, roughly at 6.40am and 7.40am.

I listened closely throughout this week, and was struck by its total imbalance, so much so that I listened again on the iPlayer to double check and get the statistics right. By my reckoning there were just more than 60 newspaper or news website mentions in the press review between Monday and Friday. Guess how many were from non-London newspapers?

There were none. Zero. Zilch. According to BBC Radio there was not a single headline or report worthy of inclusion from Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish or English regional newspapers. Not one.

It’s not as if there was nothing of news value to report from the non-London-based media. I know. I bothered to look. In Scotland we had important election results with the SNP winning big style, while Labour and the Tories performed appal-lingly. We had the Scottish Government present legislation in the Scottish Parliament making the holding of a referendum easier. We had First Minister Nicola Sturgeon give her preference for the timing of the next independence referendum. These were all covered with front-page stories and analysis by Scottish newspapers. Did we hear about a single report in The National, The Herald, The Scotsman, Daily Record, The Courier or Press and Journal in the BBC Radio press review? No we didn’t. Not one.

In Northern Ireland there was big news, with the European Parliament elections causing a sensation with the Alliance Party winning a seat and the UUP losing a seat for the first time in nearly 40 years.

There has also been the Ballymurphy inquest into the 1971 massacre of 10 people. The former head of the British Army Sir Mike Jackson gave evidence. These are big stories and were widely reported in the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and New Letter.

None of them was quoted in the BBC press review. Meanwhile, in Wales it was a big week with the Labour Party being overtaken by Plaid Cymru and hundreds of Ford job losses in Bridgend. Did we hear about that from the Western Mail or other Welsh newspapers on the BBC Today programme press review?

No we didn’t. How about the English regional press? Nothing at all. Not one.

This week the BBC Radio 4 press review on the Today programme managed to include the Washington Post and New York Times, but not one single report from a non-London based UK newspaper.

It might be unrepresentative of media plurality across the nations and regions of the UK, but it is not unrepresentative of the BBC press review format. It sadly tells you much about the London-centric BBC editorial perspective.