Proportionality on the BBC website’s Middle East page

On February 18th 2013, nearly half of the reports featured on the BBC News website’s Middle East page focused on the 153rd smallest country in the world, which takes up less than 1% of the Middle East’s total landmass, is home to less than 4% of its total population and is the only country in the region classified as “free”. 

ME HP 18 2

ME HP 18 2 2

Go figure…

5 comments on “Proportionality on the BBC website’s Middle East page

  1. Why? Three good reasons.
    1) The alliance between Islamists and the extreme (and not so extreme) left. Being anti Israel and pro Palestine (however vaguely and inaccurately) is necessary to be socially accepted and probably to get and keep a BBC job. By now it’s instinctual. UK journalists are mostly supporters of the left and even more so at the BBC.
    2) Dishing Israel is good business both for the BBC and the individual journalist. The BBC is more than a broadcaster. It is a news agent and the Arabs pay well for stories that discomfort Israel and not at all for stories which discomfort the regime. A reputation as an Israel basher may lead to a cushy job at the BBC Arabic Service or Al Jazeera. A reputation as an Israel advocate gives at most a warm glow.
    3) BBC foreign correspondents are disproportionately represented in Israel. If we look at the Middle East (using the wide BBC definition), there appears to be 16 Middle East and North African countries without a permanent BBC presence and no country has more than one except Israel which has Jon Donnison in Gaza and Katya Adler and Wyre Davies in Jerusalem. For that reason if no other we would expect a minimum of three times more stories to come about Israel than any of her neighbours.

    • I should add to that that 4) Israel’s freedom works against it. Unlike her neighbours a journalist can write virtually anything he wants; attack the government and break all the rules expecting at worst for his Press Pass to be taken and not his life or liberty. Booze is freely available here allowing the the BBC journalist to travel to Gaza and the West Bank to write how inhuman the Israelis are and two hours later return to creature comforts.

      • I recently bought a book by Andrew Anthony – “The Fallout, – how a guilty liberal lost his innocence”. It’s Anthony’s own story of his journey from the liberal left to a position many now found themselves in – unable to reconcile the ground they’re standing on with what they believe should be the bedrock of left-liberal values.

        It’s not so much this one book that’s relevant here, but rather Amazon’s little widget that throws up other books based on your current search history. It would appear that several authors are either shifting their worldview or writing about the change in values of a liberal-left that has apparently lost its way. I doubt we’re reaching critical mass on this re-awakening of the left, but it’s a start!

Comments are closed.