At HonestReporting, we recognize and credit our readership for taking action against the media when they are sufficiently motivated to do so. While it is our job to encourage activism, we know that our readers are not automatons who will write letters to editors or complain to the media at our say so.
While we can alert the public to the issues, it is ultimately an exercise in free choice and independent and informed thought as to whether or not someone will take action. Unfortunately the BBC evidently believes the opposite.
Many people who complained to the BBC about its failure to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on its Olympic country website profile were answered with the following included in a canned response:
We have received a range of feedback about the errors on the BBC Sport Olympics page and we feel it is worth explaining that a considerable number of those have been generated by online lobby activity.
What exactly is the inference of referring to “online lobby activity?”
Does the BBC consider your individual complaints less worthy simply because the information was passed on to the complainant by way of HonestReporting or any number of other organizations?
Not to mention the particularly insidious connotation behind referring to a “lobby” when it comes to an issue associated with Jews or Israel. Is the BBC insinuating that the issue is being driven by dark forces behind the scenes and that the complaints are insincere?
This is simply a cheap and nasty way of diverting attention from the real issue.
When people take the time and effort to complain, it is irrelevant how they came to be notified or encouraged to do so. Every individual complaint deserves the full attention of the BBC without prejudice as to whether or not the complainant happens to be a reader of HonestReporting or any other organization.
For the BBC to say otherwise is disrespectful and the accusation of some form of deceitful lobbying is utterly disgusting.