Monday 17 March 2014

Failure to observe due impartiality

“The BBC’s news division is on course for another row with the corporation’s internal watchdog about its coverage of Israel.The BBC Trust has upheld a complaint which alleged that a five-minute report on Radio 4’s Today programme about the Six-Day War was misleading and biased, The Times has learnt. The findings, due to be published later this month, will inflame internal tensions that have lingered since the trust partially upheld several complaints about the accuracy and partiality of Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor, five years ago.” 
So begins an article in today’s Times(?)

The latest complaint relates to an item by Kevin Connolly aired on the Today programme in June 2011. My goodness, that’s a long time ago. I wonder what has been happening to this complaint in the meantime? Oh. It seems it had been bobbing about within the internal complaints process, which “had dragged on for two and a half years”

The complainant alleged. 1.) that the impression given was that “Israel had occupied land three times its original size as a result of the 1967 war, when it had given back 90% of the land captured in 1967 back to Egypt” and 2.) the misleading impression was given that “Israel was not willing to trade land for peace, when it had reached peace deals with Jordan and Egypt that had included transfers of conquered territory”
"The Trust found that the Today report had been inaccurate on both points, and that the complaints should be upheld."
“Consequently, there had been a failure to observe due impartiality.” 
 The Times observes that the publication of the Trust’s findings on March 25th is likely to lead to outrage  among the corporation’s journalists.  The Times also sees fit to reference Jeremy Bowen’s protestations in the Independent that we mentioned here, and for a finale, a tidbit about the Balen report, 
"which it refused to release on the grounds that it was produced as an internal editorial exercise."  

“It was rumoured to have found that its coverage was anti-Israel.”

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