Thurs. 24. Mar. 2011 @ 14.20 –
The Daily Telegraph publishes strongly-worded criticism of BBC media coverage of the Itamar killings, accusing the corporation of ‘almost complete silence’ due to anti-Israel bias.
Louise Bagshawe MP, writing an op-ed on the BBC coverage, condemns what she perceives as the underreporting of the murder of the Fogel family on the 11th March. The article describes the brutal murders in gory detail, emphasising the barbaric nature of the attack. The Member of Parliament for Corby and Northamptonshire expresses her dismay at finding only two articles on the BBC website, both allegedly omitting important information: the first, a mere ‘cursory description of the incident’ and ‘another focusing on Israel’s decision to build more settlements, which mentioned the killings in passing’.
‘The second story, [which suggested] that the construction announcement was an act of antagonism following the massacre, also omitted key facts and failed to mention the subsequent celebrations in Gaza, and the statement by a Hamas spokesman that “five dead Israelis is not enough to punish anybody”.’
As Just Journalism reported on Monday, the BBC sought to portray the Palestinian reaction as one of shock and outrage and failed to cover reports of celebrations in Gaza where sweets had been handed out, following a tradition amongst some Palestinians of glorifying the murder of Israeli citizens.
Bagshawe questions the BBC’s prioritisation of news and suggests a double standard:
‘What if a settler had entered a Palestinian home and sawn off a baby’s head? Might we have heard about it then?’
She categorises the BBC’s ‘seeming lack of care’ as part of a habit of misleading reporting by the BBC, which has ‘long been accused of anti-Israel bias’.
‘It even commissioned the Balen report into bias in its Middle Eastern coverage, and then went to court to prevent its findings being publicised.’
Bagshawe also condemns the BBC’s ‘broadcast silence’, citing the reply for the BBC public affairs team:
‘Then they informed me that the Fogel story had not featured on television at all. Not even News 24.’
She notes her response, further questioning the rectitude of BBC broadcasting decisions.
‘I have asked the corporation to let me know why, if the story was “prominent on the website”, it was not deemed of sufficient merit to broadcast on television, and barely on radio. I have asked them to explain the inaccuracies and omissions in the reporting. And I have asked them what non-Japan, non-Libya stories made it to air, in preference. Twenty-four hours later, I have yet to receive a reply.’
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