Thursday, May 11, 2006

BBC's Middle East Coverage Faulted

Here's a short blurb from a Washington Post blog, about uneven treatment in the BBC's Middle East coverage. Funny, they are faulted for not portraying the Palestinian experience sufficiently, while a pro-Israeli lobby in the UK has been bashing them for years on fine points of minutiae that did not satisfy them.

I wish we had an independent commission with the guts to come out with that conclusion about US media. US papers still have to maintain the fiction that the US "allegedly" favors Israel!

BBC's Middle East Coverage Faulted

The BBC is failing to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict well, says an independent report. The British television network's coverage is inconsistent, incomplete and misleading, but there is "no deliberate or systematic bias" in its reporting of the Middle East.

The report, written by a panel headed by former government official Sir Quentin Thomas, highlights the challenges faced by even the best news organizations in a region where the news media is part of the battleground.

It cites at least three specific shortcomings, according to The Independent,which obtained a copy:

* "There was little reporting of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians in their daily lives," the report said.

* In the months preceding the Palestinian elections "there was little hard questioning of their leaders."

* The BBC fails to to convey the "asymmetry" of the conflict.

"When the Israelis suffer it is usually from a terrorist attack ... which necessarily constitutes a newsworthy event. ... In recent years, many more Palestinians have been killed but usually in circumstances which are less dramatic and give rise to less striking images," the report said.

Television news, the report said, should not be "dazzled by striking, and available pictures." That will be a difficult injunction to enforce.


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