BBC pats itself on the back for its ME coverage

Many thanks to the reader who alerted us to this item broadcast on July 5th on the BBC World Service’s ‘Outside Source.

Tweet Outside Source Andy Roy

The interview with Andrew Roy can be heard here.

AR: “Well the BBC’s one of the few organisations that has permanent offices in Gaza, in Ramallah, in Jerusalem, so we are better placed than many to make sure that we report both sides of the story. Ah…we’re very careful about the language we use. We’re very careful about the interviews we do and ensuring we have balance in both points of view that are put across and also just the volume of interviews we do from both sides. Because we do know that we come under extremely close scrutiny on this and right from the very beginning we’ve been very careful to make sure that we’ve spoken to…eh…families on both sides of this issue; with Israeli families and Palestinian families.”

Presenter: “How do you balance it? Do you look at each half-hour? Do you look at each hour? Do you go wider across at say a 24 hour period?”

AR: “Well we try to look at the entirety of our coverage. We’re not minute counting. We are ensuring that across the whole thing we can look back on our coverage of this and say we did give fair balance to each side. So it’s not a minute by minute thing, no.”

Presenter: “Do you have a situation where one side is not as media-friendly or easily accessible – with the situation in Gaza – as, say, the Israeli Defence Forces?”

AR: “It is sometimes difficult. Some sides of any conflict are possibly better at getting their message across, but it’s our job as journalists to make sure that we go the extra mile to get interviews and to make sure we do try to balance things.”

Presenter: “When you get people complaining that they feel one side has been given more air-time or more favour than the other, what do you do?”

AR: “We answer them by giving them the evidence that we’ve tried to put the other side as often as we can.”

No doubt we will be returning to these words in the not too distant future.

8 comments on “BBC pats itself on the back for its ME coverage

  1. Either astonishing stupidity, or astonishing lack of self-awareness, or astonishing mendacity.
    Personally, I have no doubt as to which one it is.

  2. They should pat themselves on the back – with an axe. Biased 99% of the time against Israel. If they interview Jews, it’s usually Left Wing Liberals or those that do not portray the real Israel.

    The pictures they show of Gaza are of bombed out and destroyed buildings never the wealth and “better” side of Gaza.



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    • Reminds me of a description I once heard of “balance the [USA] National Public Radio” way:
      1. An interview with an Arab.
      2. An interview with an anti-Israel Jew.

  3. This morning on the BBC: footage of the Arab teen being beaten by Israeli police during arrest. I disapprove in the strongest terms police beating arrested suspects. But the BBC mentioned he has taken part in “demonstrations” in the wake of his cousin’s murder. I’d like to see them calling hurling rocks and fireworks at the British police anything else but “extremely violent rioting”. The CNN was not much better, calling these riots “protests”.

  4. BBC has been missing an opportunity: the Ashkenazi-Mizrachi split on whose holocaust saga deserves world-wide attention. More than half the Jews in Israel are refugees from the Muslim world. Where are demands for reparations and justice for them? The lands stolen from the Mizrachis is two or three times the size of Israel. All the real power is in the hands of the Ashkenazi Jews. BBC! Do your best!

  5. Pingback: Only one kind of incitement worth mentioning for BBC Trending | BBC Watch

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