Anyone searching for information on how to listen to BBC World Service radio broadcasts in the Middle East would (via this page) come across a document titled ‘A guide to listening in English: October 2015 – March 2016’.
The section titled ‘How to Listen’ provides a list of frequencies which includes some radio stations described as partner stations of the BBC and among those is Radio Bethlehem 2000 on 106.4 FM.
“Radio Bethlehem 2000 listeners can hear 12 hours a day of BBC programming, in Arabic and English.
Hosam El Sokkari, Head of BBC Arabic, said: “Our partnership with Radio Bethlehem 2000 is an important addition to the BBC’s FM presence in the Arab world.”
Until April 1st 2014, the BBC World Service – which includes BBC Arabic – was funded by the British government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. After that date, funding arrangements changed and the World Service is now funded by the licence fee. The BBC has separate editorial guidelines concerning partnerships for services funded by the licence fee and for those which are not but both sets of guidelines include similar “key principles”.
“The BBC’s impartiality, editorial integrity and independence must not be compromised by any external relationship.
External relationships must not bring the BBC into disrepute.” (EDITORIAL GUIDELINES FOR BBC WORLD SERVICE GROUP ON EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS AND FUNDING)
“The BBC’s editorial impartiality and integrity must not be compromised. The BBC must retain editorial independence and editorial control of its output
Our choice of partners must be justified and should not risk bringing the BBC into disrepute.” (Partnerships: Guidance in Full)
The image below was posted by Radio Bethlehem 2000 on Facebook on January 1st after two Israelis had been murdered and seven more injured – two critically – in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv.
Can the BBC claim that its choice of a partner that glorifies terrorism using an antisemitic caricature does anything other than bring the corporation into disrepute?
BBC World Service partners – contact details