The BBC’s Jon Donnison and impartiality

The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on impartiality (section 4.4.13) state: [emphasis added]

“Presenters, reporters and correspondents are the public face and voice of the BBC – they can have a significant impact on perceptions of whether due impartiality has been achieved.  Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on ‘controversial subjects’ in any other area.  They may provide professional judgements, rooted in evidence, but may not express personal views in BBC output, including online, on such matters.”

Here is a recent Tweet from the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison

This is Donnison’s rather terse reply to someone who queries the statement “In terms of casualties Pals [sic] come of [sic] worse”. 

Here is another recent Donnison Tweet:

Oh dear! Surely Donnison cannot be suggesting that Israel is employing the Iron Dome missile defence system in order to impress the American visitors? Not only is that obviously ridiculous – the Iron Dome is deployed every time there is a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza whether there happen to be guests in the region or not – but it also crudely implies that Israel brought about the latest rocket barrage in order to have something to show the Americans.

It almost sounds as though Donnison has been reading ‘one-stater’ Ali Abunimah’s latest odious ‘Electronic Intifada’ article on Israelis “whining” about rockets.

Oh wait…

So who else – besides Abunimah – does the BBC’s Gaza correspondent turn to for reading material on the Middle East? 

And, although Donnison’s Twitter profile includes the usual “Rewteets #Tags not endorsements” caveat, who does he choose to quote and which viewpoints does he elect to promote? 

Some might say that by now they have a pretty good idea of the flavour of Donnison’s “personal views”.  

13 comments on “The BBC’s Jon Donnison and impartiality

  1. Starting from: Ah. You’re one of those selective readers his tweets are so condemning of Jon Donnison.

    Thank you for preventing its deletion and saving it for posterity.

    • That helps explain why the BBC insists it’s impartial. They’re so indoctrinated with the notion that Israel is the embodiment of evil that anything less than outright contempt for is genuinely considered impartial. Letting an Israeli spokesperson “say” something, for example.

      Searching the Biased-BBC website I found 23 articles (by me) featuring Jon Donnison.
      Somewhere I observed, wittily I thought: ‘Why, it’s almost as if he’s been reading Electronic Intifada”

      Many a true word etc.

  2. The trouble is that many people do bother to listen to them, deriving all they “know” about Israel and the Middle East from propagandists like the egregious Mr Donnison.

  3. To put it another way, the trouble is that many people do bother to listen to them, taking everything at face value; because the BBC says it, it must be true. So, great work (such as this post by BBC Watch) is to be commended.

  4. Had an interesting discussion yesterday with good friends who are critical thinkers rather than mindlessly pro-Israel. We agreed about:

    (a) the demise of critical thinking, or evidence of it, in the media and particularly in journalism and BBC broadcasts

    (b) the laziness of thought which can lead to the BBC and other media believing that just because they believe a thing then it must be true and, worse, putting out as truth. Their audience of course, not being at all interested in the hard work which accompanies checking out whether what they are being told as fact is true, swallow it whole;

    (c) The complete abandonment of any sort of ethical compass.

    All these are true not only of the BBC’s reporting of the Middle East but in the media generally. Only the BBC actually has a mandate to lie to us, and in the case of the Balen Report, deliberately to withhold that truth from us using the law to do so, and to pay for it with our money.

  5. I hope I don’t have occasion to eat my words, but Paul Wood, who also reports from the Middle East, has always struck me as a BBC reporter who scrupulously remembers his obligation to be impartial.
    Both Bowen and Donnison should take a leaf out of his book. (He strikes me as a man of superior intelligence.)
    We are not asking that they be biased towards Israel, merely that they cease their bias against Israel.

  6. You will never get it from the bbc’s presently flawed institution. Thinking that you will is naieve. Until the bbc is forced to have a complete makeover, its present left wing anti israel and also dare I say antisemitic bias will prevail.

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