The BBC in Northern Ireland is running a trailer for a documentary on Sinn Fein councillor Niall O Donnghaile, who was Lord Mayor of Belfast last year. The programme is to be broadcast on Monday evening.
This is not the first BBC documentary on a Lord Mayor. There was also a documentary on Alex Maskey, who was Lord Mayor in 2002.
In between there were eight other Lord Mayors and they were drawn from all the larger political parties, including DUP, UUP, SDLP and Alliance, as well as Sinn Fein, but the BBC has decided that the only party whose Lord Mayors merit a BBC documentary is Sinn Fein.
The BBC is a public service broadcaster and is supposed to be fair, balanced and impartial but this preferential treatment for Sinn Fein falls far short of those standards.
Some time ago I raised this issue with the Northern Ireland controller of the BBC, at a meeting in Broadcasting House in Belfast, but have yet to hear what the BBC proposes to do to rectify this situation.
There is an onus on the BBC to acknowledge that it was wrong to give preferential treatment to Sinn Fein, to determine how this happened, to ensure that it does not happen again and to take action to redress this imbalance.