BBC Trust Upholds Complaint About Settlement Moratorium Coverage

Last September, Israel ended a moratorium on building in already-existing settlements.

Unfortunately, the BBC Today program inaccurately described moratorium in far broader terms, stating, “The moratorium on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank ended at midnight.” That language even remains on the Beeb’s web site:

It’s clear that the BBC has an axe to grind with settlements that clouds their editorial judgment. If the Beeb’s hot to present them as obstacles to peace, it should at least get its fact straight.

HonestReporting subscriber and activist Stephen Franklin filed a formal complaint with the BBC Trust, asserting that the Beeb’s description of the moratorium was inaccurate and misleading. Franklin forwarded the email confirming the ruling to HonestReporting. (According to email, the ruling was supposed to be posted on the BBC Trust web site at 1:00 pm — that has not happened yet.)

While the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee didn’t agree that there was any intent to mislead, it did uphold Franklin’s complaint about the inaccuracy.

· this was a topic which particularly demands accuracy and precision in order for the audience to be well-informed. The introduction to the interview had therefore breached the Accuracy guideline in respect of the requirement to present output “. . . in clear, precise language”.

Great heads up by Franklin for taking the initiative to file a complaint and successfully calling the BBC onto the carpet.


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