Saturday, 17 October 2015

The BBC puts Mark Urban on the naughty step


Oddly, given what I've just written about Mark Urban's Newsnight report last night, it was his report on Wednesday night's edition which got him into trouble with the BBC.

The last time I checked the BBC Complaints 'Corrections & Clarifications' page, the BBC were apologising for saying that terrorist Richard Dart had been a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir (probably to someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir).

This time it looks as if the anti-Israel brigade have notched up another concession from the BBC:


Newsnight tweeted the decision yesterday:


Checking back through the  'Corrections & Clarifications' page archive for 2015, I've found three other Israeli/Palestinian-related decisions on each month's main page - two 'upheld' and one 'resolved'

All, like the above, went in favour of critics of Israel.

Is this because they all had a point (while none of the pro-Israeli complaints had a point)? Or is it because there's a serious pattern of anti-Israel bias within the BBC's Complaints process?

Having looked at those other three examples, they are exactly the kind of thing that, say, BBC Watch chronicles week in and week out (from the other side) - such as complaints that a guest's background wasn't described enough (so they seemed more 'independent' than they actually are) or that an interviewee was allowed to make controversial assertions and not challenged enough by the interviewer. 

And yet they all seem to get rejected while these anti-Israel ones, on no stronger evidence (and, I'd say, on weaker evidence), are 'upheld'.

All very suspicious, don't you think?

3 comments:

  1. Raises an interesting point. Tibetans don't think Beijing is their legitimate capital. Should the BBC make that clear every time they report from the capital of China?

    And when was the last time you heard a BBC journo clarify that the Palestinians consider the Israeli occupation of Palestine refers not only to the West Bank and East Jerusalem but also the whole of what is recognised by the UN as Israel.

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  2. Unfortunately, this negligence only serves to convince Israel haters that the BBC is run by Zionists. Having said that, it's fascinating that the BBC Complaints Dept. seems to undermine their own defense that they get it about right in the long term because they get complaints from both sides. If complaints from one side are mostly bogus, it's an invalid defense. We just disagree which side that is.

    The only way to prove anything one way or another is to do an FOIA request to get all the complaints and have an independent (non-BBC, non-activist group) panel review them all. That can't happen because the BBC can refuse to hand them over on the grounds of "journalism".

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    1. Doesn't mean the attempt should not be made.

      If phrased well, the inevitable BBC dissembling and blockade cannot sit well with any who have a shred of professional integrity, and the cumulative total blows their transparency claims out the water.

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