As regular readers know, BBC Watch has on occasion secured corrections to articles published on the BBC Arabic website – see, for example, here and here . However, regular monitoring of BBC content produced in the Arabic language (which according to the BBC reaches some 37 million people a week) is beyond our remit and capabilities.
Recognising the absence of monitoring of Arabic language content produced by Western media organisations including the BBC, CAMERA has initiated a new project, as recently reported by the JNS.
“The Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) recently announced it has hired Syrian-born researcher Ahed al-Hendi to spearhead the organization’s new Arabic-language media department.
According to CAMERA, the new department will monitor Arabic versions of major Western media outlets including the BBC, Sky News, CNN, Agence France-Presse, France24, The Associated Press, Reuters, the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera.
“No organization currently monitors Arabic-language media for accuracy and adherence to professional codes of journalistic practice,” CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin said. “Other excellent organizations monitoring Arabic-language media, such as MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), are doing vital but different work, providing translations of Arabic-language media reports. CAMERA’s Arabic project has an entirely different objective and will complement but not overlap with MEMRI and other related groups.”
CAMERA hopes to build off its decades of work holding English, Hebrew and Spanish media accountable for bias and misreporting when it comes to Israel.
“My staff and I will begin by addressing influential outlets such as the BBC and CNN, reviewing their Arabic coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict and communicating with editors to promote accurate, complete news,” Hendi told JNS.org.”
We will of course keep readers updated about the launch of this new project.