Where New Labour wooed the Murdoch empire, Project Cameron woos the BBC. Project Cameron often appears careful not to take up positions that will antagonise the Corporation on its own future, climate change or the war on terror. In his unmissable column on the press (for The Independent) Stephen Glover notes how the wooing of The Guardian is all part of the BBC-directed charm offensive:
"Mr Cameron’s policy of wooing The Guardian, or at any rate not being at loggerheads with it, is central to his strategy. The Guardian may have comparatively limited sales, but it is the BBC’s in-house journal. The Cameroons are certain, after the trauma of three successive election defeats, that the Tories can never win power again with the liberal media against them. The BBC is of course infinitely more powerful than The Guardian, but that newspaper occupies roughly the same role within the corporation as Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book once did amongst Chinese Communists. Win The Guardian over, and you have almost won the BBC."
It is certainly true that the team around David Cameron regularly give exclusive stories to The Guardian group. David Cameron’s questioning of the Tories’ opposition to sanctions and the new emphasis on relative poverty were stories first given to The Observer or Guardian, for example. Mr Glover suggests that George Osborne’s possible policy of putting public sector adverts online (the lifeblood revenue source of The Guardian) may have betrayed the Tory leadership’s true view of The Guardian but that it does not fit with the wider BBC-friendly strategy.
Related link: CCHQ seeks £140K media strategist (apparently)