Overall, the BBC’s coverage of events in southern Israel during and in the period leading up to Operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’ was, to say the least, somewhat sketchy – despite the presence of at least four BBC reporters on the ground in Israel after the operation began and a permanently well-staffed Jerusalem Bureau.
One of its better reports in terms of accuracy, impartiality and the presentation of a balanced view was this one by Katya Adler, filmed in Be’er Sheva on the day following the cease fire.
However prior to that, for example, we had seen a report entitled “Ashkelon bears the brunt of rockets” which featured 80% of footage from places other than Ashkelon, a report from Kiryat Malachi which failed to interview even one resident of the town and a general tendency to dedicate proportionately more air-time to images filmed in the Gaza Strip (which also had more BBC staff on the ground: seven, not including those of the BBC Arabic Service’s Gaza Bureau).
The BBC reporting from southern Israel which did take place focused mainly on what was happening there at the time. Little effort was made to ensure that audiences understood that the one million residents of southern Israel have been living under the pall of terror by missile attack for almost twelve years and how that affects a generation of children who have never known anything else.
This short film allows us to briefly hear the voices of those children and to see how some of them cope with their reality.