BBC Doesn’t Deny HR Report Findings

January 22, 2008 22:00 by

Many of you wrote to the BBC asking for their reaction to our one year analysis that systematically and quantifiably demonstrated a clear bias against Israel in the BBC’s reporting. So did the UK’s Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News, who, along with our subscribers, were told by the BBC:

HonestReporting has a particular view of the conflict and cannot be seen as an independent arbiter of our output.

BBC News is committed to impartial reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an independent panel of inquiry into the impartiality of the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East in 2006 found that there was ‘no deliberate or systematic bias in our coverage of the conflict.’

We certainly have no problem in taking a different ‘view of the conflict’ to the BBC’s moral relativism. However, HonestReporting’s analysis examined the BBC’s reporting, based not on subjective opinion, but on the very journalistic standards that the BBC claims to uphold. We presented hard facts but our work was summarily rejected by the BBC which is unable to come up its own analysis as to why HonestReporting is unsuitable to judge.

Indeed, the BBC did not deny or even question the statistics or conclusions of our study, choosing instead to question HonestReporting itself. This, from an organization that has suppressed the publication of the Balen Report into its Mideast coverage.

The BBC went as far as the courts to prevent the public release of this internal report. This leaves the distinct impression that, perhaps, embarrassing evidence of bias has been uncovered by the BBC’s investigation. We continue to ask – if the BBC has nothing to hide, why is it so intent on spending UK taxpayers’ money to cover up Balen?

And why is the BBC unwilling to address the findings of HonestReporting’s analysis? In our report, we found:

  • The BBC virtually ceased reporting on Palestinian rocket attacks but detailed numerous Israeli military operations in Gaza.
  • The BBC’s headline selection for stories about the conflict was inconsistent and favored the Palestinian side.
  • Images accompanying articles of combat or terrorist attacks were heavily sympathetic to the Palestinian perspective by a ratio of three to one.

HonestReporting has not ‘lobbied’ the BBC directly. Our readers are able to judge our material on its own merits so why are their views and those of other concerned individuals treated with such disdain by the BBC?

We repeat our question and ask our subscribers to also ask the BBC – do you deny the findings of HonestReporting’s analysis of the BBC’s Mideast coverage? Our subscribers deserve an answer.

Continue to send your comments to the BBC through its website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

VIDEO: ISRAELI NEWS CREW ATTACKED BY PALESTINIAN SNIPERS

A short while after Palestinian snipers shot dead a volunteer from Ecuador, the news team covering the incident became the next target.

The camera caught it all - see the dramatic footage by clicking on the image below.

Despite this incident taking place some days ago, Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), which claims to protect press freedom worldwide, has yet to condemn this deliberate attack on the media. Send your letters to RSF’s Middle East desk calling on the organization to do so - middle-east@rsf.org

AUSSIE REPORTER LOOKS BEYOND THE CONFLICT

Due to the limited focus of the media, it is sometimes difficult to see the Israel that exists beyond the conflict with its neighbors. Credit to The Australian’s Greg Sheridan who decided to take a closer look:

Alongside the territories is a much under-reported but fascinating and unique country. It’s called Israel. The world media makes a mistake by using the same reporters to cover the Palestinian territories as well as Israel. They can’t do both, and most don’t try to.

They cover the territories and they only cover Israel as a brooding and malign presence in the territories. Naturally the reporting is one-sided. But it is worse than that. It omits from the equation Israel and the Israelis, and all the countless enthralling and diverse aspects of Israeli politics and society.

Click here to read the full article.

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Category: BBC Gaza HR in the News Long-Term Analysis Online Photo Bias Print Spotlight Terrorism Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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