Saturday, September 23, 2017

‘BBC shame on you’- Demonstrations take place against the BBC’s coverage of Gaza and Israel


By Lil Jackson - July 17, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [BDS]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Thousands gather to protest the BBC's overage of 'Operation Protective Edge.'  | Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Approximately 5,000 protesters gathered outside the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) studios on Tuesday to protest the news outlets coverage of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. The demonstrators chanted 'BBC shame on you’.

Protestors accuse the BBC of showing bias towards Israel in its broadcasting. The corporation has, however, also received complaints that it favors the Palestinians. 

Similar demonstrations took place in the UK cities of Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool. 
 
In conjunction with Tuesday’s demonstrations an open letter was presented to the BBC’s Director General, Lord Hall, at the London protest. The letter, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, had 45,000 signatories. 
 
The letter asserts that BBC news coverage is “devoid of context or background” in relation to Israel’s previous occupation and current blockade on Gaza.
 
“We would like to remind you that Gaza has no army, air force, or navy, while Israel possess one of the strongest militaries in the world,” the letter stated. 
 
 “These are simple facts, none of which have been present in any of the BBC’s coverage so far of Israel’s assault on Gaza…Their omission allows the BBC to present Israel’s assault as a retaliation to Palestinian rockets rather than as an enforcement of its occupation and siege,” said Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
A host of high profile names signed the letter, including former BBC correspondent Tim Llewellyn and Noam Chomsky. Many of the protestors present at the BBC studios on Tuesday held signs carrying quotes from high profile persons;
 
“The BBC’s reporting of Israel’s assaults on Gaza is entirely devoid of context or background,” Ken Loach, English film and television director.
 
“To the BBC, an Israeli life is worth the lives of infinite numbers of Palestinians,” Tim Lewellyn, former BBC correspondent.
 
In response, a BBC News spokesperson said the organization was reporting “widely and extensively across TV, radio and online, on many different aspects of this ongoing and complex conflict…Our role is to explain what is happening and why, and we endeavor to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views.”
 
“We are committed to continuing to report and analyze sometimes fast moving events in an accurate, fair and balanced way,” the spokesperson added.
 
It is not the first time the BBC has encountered scrutiny over its reporting on Israel and Palestine. In past broadcasts and on its online pages the BBC has referred to Jerusalem as an Israeli city. 
 
The BBC’s lack of distinction between occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli West Jerusalem has raised concerns that the corporation is misleading its audience. Campaigners from PSC have lodged an appeal with the UK’s Information Commissioners Office to investigate what lead the BBC to allow Jerusalem the label of an Israeli city.
 
According to Stop the War Coalition more demonstrations against the BBC’s coverage and the conflict in general are planned in the coming days.
 

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