Last night, BBC Radio 3 had a 13-minute segment on its ‘Night Waves’ program that addressed media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The program included three guests: A BBC deputy head of news, a BBC Mideast reporter, and the central guest ‘expert’ — Professor Greg Philo of Glasgow University, who recently did a study that, he claims, demonstrates a anti-Palestinian bias in TV news coverage of the conflict.
Philo’s primary claims: 1) BBC News doesn’t give enough historical background on Arab suffering at the hands of Israelis, and 2) BBC journalists are intimidated by pro-Israel activists, and therefore hold back on criticizing Israel. Philo is a notorious anti-Israeli ideologue whose biggest fans appear to be John Pilger and Noam Chomsky.
What’s unbelievable here is that BBC radio has once again produced a show on an important topic in coverage of the Mideast conflict, but refused to present the balance necessary to fairly tackle the issue. (In March, the issue was the terms ‘terrorist/freedom fighter’, and the two BBC Radio guests were terrorist-sympathizers.) Certainly BBC Radio should have balanced out Philo’s anti-Israel views — which they present as ‘academic’ and therefore supposedly ‘neutral’ — with those of another British critic of BBC coverage, such as Trevor Asserson at BBC Watch, who has produced three exhaustive studies demonstrating the BBC’s anti-Israel bias.
Comments to BBC Radio 3: click here
(Hat tip: Arnold M.)
UPDATE: See the HR communique on this topic.