Monday, 26 January 2009

BBC gets it wrong over Gaza

The BBC seems to have something of a knack at the moment for shooting itself in the foot. The decision not to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza seems to me to be simply indefensible. Although I am rather wary of politicians telling a publicly-funded broadcaster what they should do, on this occasion the arguments seem quite clear cut. The public are quite capable of telling the difference between a humanitarian appeal by bodies such as the British Red Cross and the editorial line of the BBC. It is actually the BBC who are 'editorialising' by picking and choosing which disaster appeals they will broadcast - if they simply had a policy of broadcasting DEC appeals with the other broadcasters then this issue would simply not have arisen - and if anyone had complained they could point out that it is the DEC that chooses the beneficiaries, not the BBC.

The one bright spot out of all of this is that the publicity given to the appeal is probably now far greater than it would have been if it had gone out in the usual way. I very much hope therefore that this will prove to be one of the most successful appeals in a long time.


Stela Yordanova said...

Find out more about British Red Cross work in Gaza at
or to donate to our appeal go to

Anonymous said...

I fully support the bbc decision in this case for two reasons-
As John H. indicted in his question to the DG- yes, the appeal is political and the BBC should stay away from politics.
Few years ago, another reputable media organisation, the Guardian, had to apologise after the terrible events in Genin. The Israeli operation in Genin a attracted headlines such as" Massacre' 1500 murdered" etc only to be corrected by the Guradian's apology few months later to - 55 people died as a result of the Israeli operation in Genin- 45 were armed.
I can perfectly see why the BBC is rightly refusing to b'cast the appeal at this stage of events

roneng said...

yes they have got it wrong, their excuses are too weak. I do not understand. I am left with the impression that they are yielding to pressure from some quarter