Another example of inadequate BBC adherence to impartiality guidelines

Readers no doubt recall that last October the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit recommitted to BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality which state:

“We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made.”

Specifically regarding BBC News, the ECU stated:

“The production team have been reminded of the importance of clearly summarising the standpoint of any interviewee where it is relevant and not immediately clear from their position or the title of their organisation.”

In the video below – filmed in London in 2006 at a Hizb-ut-Tahrir rally– the speaker makes his “standpoint” very clear.

“We embrace the mercy. We embrace every single thing that is set upon us and we deal with it because we have no fear. So when we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan then we know where the example lies. When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know what the solution is and where the victory lies. We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the west.”

The speaker is Asim Qureshi of the organization formerly known as ‘Cageprisoners‘ and recently revamped as ‘Cage’, which was founded by Moazzam Begg who currently awaits trial in the UK on terrorism charges.

Here is how the BBC’s Huw Edwards introduced Qureshi and his organisation on BBC News recently:

 “…Asim Qureshi, who’s research director of ‘Cage’ and that is a charity that campaigns for those detained on terrorism charges.”

Here is how Qureshi and his group were introduced by James Menendez on the BBC World Service programme ‘Newshour’:

“…Asim Qureshi who’s research director for the human rights group ‘Cage’ that has a particular focus on the war on terror.”

In both these interviews the subject under discussion was an initiative by the British police to prevent British Muslims from going to fight in Syria.

 It was therefore obviously necessary for representatives of an organization which claims to be committed to “clearly summarising the standpoint of any interviewee where it is relevant”, to make it clear to audiences in the introductions that Mr Qureshi – in his own words – sees it as “incumbent…to support the jihad” of insurgents in Iraq or terrorists in Gaza, Lebanon or Kabul whom he regards as “an example”.

That, however, did not happen.

Related Articles:

Cageprisoners, Rowntree Trust and “Jews did 9/11”   (CiF Watch) 



6 comments on “Another example of inadequate BBC adherence to impartiality guidelines

  1. Meanwhile, the BBC continues to make unintended front-page news in several British newspapers. To Duvidl it appears that this is not just a slow news day, but that newspapers are simply reflecting the accelerating decline of the BBC as it increasingly makes the news rather than presenting it..

    Here is an interesting Jewish perspective on the use of the “N” word in the USA, but the BBC certainly appears to have handled the matter in what was described by Mark Longhurst on Sky TV News as a “cack-handed” way.

    Furthermore, the Prime Minister has weighed in on who should replace Lord Patten as head of the BBC Trust, reports The Sunday Times.

    • NB Here is the offending song by Ambrose and His Orchestra (1932) sung by Sam Browne, which caused the BBC DJ to be fired:

  2. In yet more BBC news, BBC Watchers may care to attend a free London lecture on 6 June given by BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen entitled “a Lens on the Middle East.”

    Duvidl will not be attending, feeling he has a far better lens on the Middle East, Jeremy and the BBC by reading BBC Watch. However, he does have the following questions for Jeremy, which Jeremy may want to assist BBC Watchers by answering on BBC Watch itself.

    1.How has your lack of command of Hebrew and Arabic hindered your presentation of the Middle East’s problems to BBC licence fee payers?

    2. Please can licence fee payers now read the 2004 suppressed Balen report?

    3.Should the car in which you and the colleague who was killed with you by Israeli artillery in a war zone, which caused you to become an anti-Israel writer, not have been properly marked as a “Press” car and you have worn identifying press insignia rather than a pink shirt?

    4. After an official report criticised your “Arab Spring” coverage and the BBC Trust found you guilty of innaccuracies in your Gaza reporting, how have you managed to become the Royal Television society journalist of the year?

  3. Pingback: Terror excused, Palestinian Christians sold out on BBC World Service | BBC Watch

  4. Pingback: Newsnight introduction of Asim Qureshi again breaches BBC editorial guidelines | BBC Watch

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