The November 8th edition of the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today‘ programme included an item (from 45:57 here) revisiting a story first reported by the BBC over three and a half years ago. The same report was also aired (from 14:07 here) in an edition of ‘Newshour‘ on BBC World Service radio on November 9th.
In what was described by the BBC’s Tom Bateman as “a story of revival against the odds”, BBC audiences were told about a concert played on a restored grand piano in Gaza City. Listeners also heard the following:
Bateman: “The [piano restoration] work symbolised the challenges of everyday life in Gaza. A UN agency had to coordinate access for skilled people and parts for the piano amid the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Strip which those countries say is imposed for security reasons.”
While this is by no means the first time that BBC audiences have heard that ‘Israel says’ portrayal of the reasons why it was necessary to introduce a ban on the entry of weapons to the Gaza Strip and controls on the import of dual-use goods, it is obvious that BBC reporters such as Tom Bateman know full well that the context to Israel’s policy is the Palestinian terrorism which increased after Hamas’ violent take-over of the territory in 2007.
Nevertheless, we continue to see BBC journalists whitewashing that terrorism by repeatedly describing the actions taken to counter it in terms of a ‘narrative’.
That editorial policy clearly does not contribute to meeting the BBC’s public purpose of helping audiences understand this and similar stories.