03 July 2012

Insights into the BBC from The Commentator

The Commentator, that useful and balanced viewer of events in the Middle East, has a fascinating guest op-ed from Simon Plosker, Managing Editor of Honest Reporting. He reminds us (as if we needed it) that the BBC spent a quarter of a million pounds (or about $385000, or, if you prefer, app. 1,500,000 NIS) on supressing the Balen Report on BBC reporting of the Middle East conflict.

Plosker notes that "this last week saw the very public release of an internal BBC review into its coverage of the so-called “Arab Spring”, commissioned by the BBC Trust." The author is one Edward Mortimer,"a former United Nations communications director, was broadly positive about the BBC’s reporting. He did, however, identify a number of serious failings."

I won't bore you with these, but they relate to reporting on the Arab Spring. Plosker raises the intriguing question as to whether, given this, the suppressed Balen Report raises equally, or more serious, concerns about the nature of BBC reporting from the Israel/Palestinian conflict. We may never know, but I suspect that those of us who come here have our own answer to that.

And, as the otherwise not necessarily highly regarded Henry Kissinger famously noted, "remember, even paranoids have enemies". You have to imagine the heavy German-accented English to get the full effect.

The full report (long, but worth it), can be found here.

By Brian Goldfarb.


Dick Stanley said...

I, of course, pay little attention to the BBC, though my wife enjoys their TV comedies. But I think anyone who has been to Israel knows what poppycock most Western reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict really is.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I used to held BBC in high esteem during the Cold War times. Not anymore, I am afraid.