Saturday 22 June 2019


Yolande Knell, BBC News, Tel Aviv

My favourite BBC Watch piece this past week featured BBC Middle East correspondent Yolande Knell.

It looked at a BBC World Service report  (6th June) which she then recycled for an edition of Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent (13th June).

And, by the looks of it, that wasn't the only bit of recycling she engaged in!

BBC Watch notes its remarkable similarity to an earlier Associated Press report (4th June).

Here's that AP report in full:
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Hundreds of Israelis have participated in a mass wedding in Tel Aviv to demand the right to same-sex marriage ahead of the country’s Gay Pride week. 
Tuesday’s event involved an unofficial wedding ceremony for 23 gay couples, who walked down the aisle, took vows and danced at a banquet, cheered by friends, family and supporters. 
The annual pride parade, set for June 14, draws flocks of foreign visitors to Israel, which flaunts itself as one of the world’s most gay-friendly tourist destinations. 
Yet political rights for Israel’s gay community lag behind increasingly widespread cultural acceptance
Jewish ultra-Orthodox parties, which wield significant influence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government and have a monopoly over matters of religion and state, have rejected legislation that condones homosexuality, which they see as defying Jewish law
And here's Yolande's BBC report, via the BBC Watch transcript:
Beaming, Nikita stomps on a glass wrapped in foil to cries of muzl tov – congratulations. But this isn’t a traditional Jewish wedding: it’s a symbolic one. Nikita and his long-time partner Roy are in a row of 23 gay couples hugging and kissing. All walked down the aisle and took vows at an open-air mass ceremony in Tel Aviv.

But while same-sex marriages are increasingly recognised around the world, here in Israel they’re still not legal. The state doesn’t permit any civil marriages – only religious ones – and there’s no religious gay marriage option. ‘We participated so everyone would see us and know we exist’ Nikita says. ‘We love each other, we want to be married and have a normal life’.

Tel Aviv’s gay-friendly reputation – which it recently flaunted while hosting the Eurovision Song Contest – draws many same-sex Israeli couples to live here as well as lots of foreign visitors. Every year its pride parade along the beach has a carnival atmosphere. Young and old, gay and straight join the huge party, many dressed in flamboyant outfits or skimpy swimming costumes.

But in Israel rights for the gay community fall behind rising cultural acceptance in society.

In the Right-wing coalition governments of the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish ultra-orthodox parties have had an influential role. They reject any proposed legislation which they see as condoning homosexuality, saying it defies Jewish law.

So here's a summary of the overlap:
  1. "walked down the aisle"
  2. "gay-friendly"
  3. "flaunted"
  4. "foreign visitors"
  5. "fall behind rising cultural acceptance in society"
  6. "reject any proposed legislation which they see as condoning homosexuality, saying it defies Jewish law"
So is the BBC's Yolande Knell a journalist or a churnalist

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