Contrasting BBC portrayals of the Gaza Strip in English and in Arabic

At the beginning of February Tim Franks produced a report from the Gaza Strip (see here and here) which was part of a special feature for the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’.

Citing “stifling border closures […] the people here say are for collective punishment”, Franks painted a monochrome picture of dire poverty and deprivation:

“Gaza’s everyday problems don’t stop though with unreliable electricity; the rest of the infrastructure is shot. A lot of recent war damage lies unreconstructed. The economy is lifeless, unemployment sky-high.”

“But there’s a more immediate point I think…ahm…which is that, you know, the people here have far more direct concerns. It’s about the next meal, when is the power going to go off, how do you make money, what’s the water supply like – answer: not terribly good. So it’s those sort of much more quotidian dreary concerns that are driving people rather than any grand thoughts about a solution to all of this.”

Franks’ did not, however, clarify to audiences that his portrayal does not represent the whole picture.memri-gaza-restaurants

MEMRI has translated a filmed report (available here) produced by BBC Arabic in December 2016 on the topic of Gaza restaurants.

“BBC Arabic recently broadcast a TV report on restaurants in Gaza, in which it showed “an aspect of luxury, vibrancy, and riches” to life in Gaza. Restaurant owners and patrons talked to the reporter about eating out, describing the menus and the prices. A group of women sitting at a restaurant said that they would often come for “a coffee and a chat,” and that dinner would come to 250-300 dollars. The report aired on December 20, 2016.”

Notably, we have found no evidence of that report having been shown to English-speaking BBC audiences. 

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6 comments on “Contrasting BBC portrayals of the Gaza Strip in English and in Arabic

  1. Gaza people have it in their own hands to improve their lives – sadly they are either too brain-washed or too gutless to kick out Hamas, come to their senses and make a lasting peace with Israel.

  2. Pingback: 03/01 Links Pt2: Tenenbom: In the Land of the Free, the Brave Are Quiet; Phillips: Denial is a river in Londonistan – 24/6 Magazine

  3. I am so disappointed in the BBC, an organization that I was once so proud of. Time and again they have shown their bias in their reporting of Gaza and the conflict that Israel has with the ‘Palestinians’.
    They have joined other media outlets that seem totally unable to tell the truth, and shamefully, they are amongst those outlets that are only prepared to broadcast their biased opinions rather than telling the truth. It is these organizations (together with such as CNN and the New York Times in the USA and the Guardian in the UK) that, due to their altering of facts and lying, are more than partly responsible for the massive increase in worldwide antisemitism and Israel hate.

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