BBC inaccurately promotes Banksy propaganda as a ‘documentary’

The Oxford dictionary defines a documentary as:

“A film or television or radio programme that provides a factual report on a particular subject.”

The key word in that definition is of course ‘factual’: defined as “concerned with what is actually the case”.

So, when the BBC describes something as a documentary, it is in fact telling its audience that the information in that film is true and endorsing its content as fact.Banksy report website

A filmed report which appeared on the BBC News website (as well as on BBC television news programmes) on February 26th was accompanied by a synopsis which opens:

“One of the most famous graffiti artists in the world, Banksy, has turned his attention to the streets and walls of the Gaza Strip for a new documentary.”

On its Youtube channel, BBC News presented the same report under the following title:

“Gaza: Banksy artwork for a new documentary – BBC News”

However, that short video is not a documentary at all, but a puerile exercise in propaganda which propagates existing clichés and politically motivated allegations about the Gaza Strip which are not based in fact.

banksy vid 1

banksy vid 2

Banksy vid 3

(footage from Qalandiya checkpoint – not the Gaza Strip)

banksy vid 4

banksy vid 5

The BBC’s own filmed report on the topic – by Rushdi Abualouf – also promotes inaccurate clichés such as the notion of a “siege” on the Gaza Strip and “occupation” which has not existed there for almost a decade.

“I think, yes, it’s clear that the watchtower means the siege and means occupation.”

The BBC was far from the only media organization to provide PR for Banksy’s propaganda stunt, as our colleagues at CAMERA have documented. However, other media outlets are not bound by editorial guidelines which state, inter alia:

“We must not knowingly and materially mislead our audiences with our content.”

By presenting a piece of agitprop as a “documentary” the BBC has, however, done exactly that. 

5 comments on “BBC inaccurately promotes Banksy propaganda as a ‘documentary’

  1. Put to one side for a moment the nit-picking about the classification of the genre, and stop dissembling over the message of the film. Aren’t you ashamed at all?

    • Since the message of the film is based on a series of lies and half-truths, I see no reason why it should be even given serious consideration, let alone be the cause of any sham to any e except Banksy….and the BBC for showing it, especially while clai ing it as a ‘documentary’.

  2. I am ashamed to have been a fan of Banksy. Now I realize he’s just another shallow liar full of hatred.

  3. “The BBC’s own filmed report on the topic – by Rushdi Abualouf – also promotes inaccurate clichés such as the notion of a “siege” on the Gaza Strip and “occupation” which has not existed there for almost a decade.”

    The EU and the UN rightly still classify Gaza as ‘occupied’. Israel occupies it’s borders, it’s airspace and it’s waters, the straightjacket having been tightened since the residents therein had the democratic affrontery to prefer Hamas to Fatah at election time.

    It is indeed a siege.

  4. Pingback: Lyse Doucet’s blatant political propaganda on BBC WS WHYS – part one | BBC Watch

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