Group researches BBC articles, claims bias against Israel

Posted: April 28, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in International, Israel, Palestinians, Press and Media

Logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation A widely-known media research group Honest Reporting released a research (PDF) of the British Broadcasting Corporation, saying England’s main news operator is heavily biased against Israel in its coverage. The group sampled 57 articles, dated January 1st, 2010 to March 31st, 2010.

For example, the group says it found blatant violations of journalistic objectivity, such as allowing one side to present its points without a counter-argument:

Eighteen articles highlighted Palestinian quotations or viewpoints without an equal response from those representing Israel’s point of view equal in profile, length, tone, or imagery.

Zero articles highlighted Israeli quotations or viewpoints without an equal response from those representing Palestinian views. Even worse, some articles quoted Palestinian sources proven to be unreliable. Even after all the evidence that the Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza manipulated casualty statistics during the war, they were still believed in the case of the “Dead Boy” story that turned out to be wholly untrue.

(Page 4)

The study claims further that the articles published on the BBC website undermine Israel’s positions, while giving mostly ignoring Palestinian wrongdoing:

The glorification of terrorism is a direct violation of numerous Palestinian obligations. It is vital
that news organizations report on this matter if their readers are to gain a true appreciation of the difficulties of moving the peace process forward. Likewise, weapons smuggling and
corruption have a much greater impact on current events than an isolated case of vandalism and have been well documented by numerous outside sources. So the question remains, why is the BBC silent on some items while covering Israeli actions with such minute detail?

(Page 3)

The study then presents each article studies with specific points for each article.

NOWADAYS, IT IS hard to blame a news organization for bias, as modern rules of journalism (usually, self-censored) dictate total “neutrality”. For example, Reuters news agency defended its use of term militant or activist instead of terrorist saying: “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. In a separate instance, one might remember CNN’s admission of lacking reporting due to need to protect its journalists in Iraq.

While objectivity and neutrality in reporting is essential, it seems many news organizations give up actual objectivity as they give in to pressure from outside sources. For example, from Gaza to Tehran, newswire services, agencies and reporters receive their information from local informers – information that was labeled “dubious” by critics. Organizations such as Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, and others were blamed for outright bias on many occasions, some of those due to lacking or inaccurate reporting by sources hired among local population.

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  1. […] Logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation A widely-known media research group Honest Reporting released a research (PDF) of the British Broadcasting Corporation, saying England’s main news operator is heavily biased against Israel in … Read the original: Group researches BBC articles, claims bias against Israel […]

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