Scottish Friends of Israel Redressing the Balance

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<BBC Bias

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BBC Use of Language

The BBC frequently shows partiality in its choice of language. Most notably the BBC has failed to change its policy toward use of the word “Terrorist.”


BBC News Omissions

We note that the BBC failed to include the views of one side. All the examples...have been instances where the Israeli view has been omitted.

We have analysed the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East in main news programmes on UK television and radio and on the BBC’s main website over a 9-week period from the end of May to the end of July 2002.

The content was assessed for compliance with the BBC’s legal obligations of accuracy and impartiality. We found numerous significant breaches of these obligations. These breaches included an inaccurate and one-sided profile of Yasser Arafat; unjustified discrimination in the use of language; omissions of material events, facts and viewpoints; misleading use of pictures; and the improper inclusion of journalists’ personal comments hostile to Israel and the Israeli government.

We noted that some complaints raised in an earlier report published in March 2002 had been addressed. However most had not.

The BBC’s reporting of the Middle East remains partial, inaccurate and in frequent breach of BBC guidelines. There is an apparent widespread antipathy towards Israel within the BBC which emerges in its news reporting of the Middle East. The British public is obliged to pay for the BBC through the licence fee. In return the BBC is obliged to provide a fair, impartial and accurate news service. The BBC is failing to keep to its side of the bargain.

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