BBC amends online profile of Manchester constituency after complaints

BBC Watch

Via the Jewish Chronicle we learn that:

“The BBC has been accused of racism after an article on the Blackley and Broughton constituency in Greater Manchester referred to its “wealthy” Jewish community.”

The Manchester Evening News (which has a screenshot of the original profile) reports that:complaint

“In its summary of the Blackley and Broughton constituency ahead of May 7, the broadcaster describes a multi-cultural area containing a ‘Jewish community concentrated in a wealthy pocket of large detached houses’.

Labour candidate Graham Stringer, who is defending the seat, says the words have prompted a flood of complaints from Jewish people.

He said parts of the area’s Orthodox community suffer from some of the highest poverty levels in the country and compared the description to the Victorian caricature of Fagin in Oliver Twist.

In a complaint to the BBC, he says the description is a ‘racist distortion’.

The profile refers to Blackley and…

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BBC article on UN Gaza report includes inaccurate representation of its content

BBC Watch

On April 27th the BBC News website produced an article titled “Israel struck Gaza shelters – UN report” which appeared on its Middle East page. The main photograph appearing at the head of that report is captioned:

“Israel said Palestinian militants used UN facilities as shields for their “terrorist activities”.”

UN report art first pic

The BBC’s article does not include a link to the summary of the UN report which is its subject matter but had it done so, audiences would have been able to see for themselves that the BBC’s knee-jerk insertion of the words “Israel said” is entirely superfluous given that the UN’s report establishes the exact same fact. The BBC itself even goes on to state that:UN report art main

“The inquiry also found that three empty UN schools were used by Palestinian militants to store weapons, and that in two cases they likely fired from them.”

The BBC’s article can be…

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More on the Law of Armed Conflict, Gaza and the BBC

BBC Watch

As has been noted here before, less than twenty-four hours after the commencement of Operation Protective Edge in July 2014 the BBC began promoting to its audiences worldwide the notion that Israel was committing ‘war crimes’ in the Gaza Strip. That accusation – along with related ones such as ‘crimes against humanity’, ‘deliberate targeting of civilians’ and ‘collective punishment’ – continued to be a theme found in BBC coverage throughout the fifty-day conflict and since its conclusion, despite the fact that its origins were to be found in statements from politically-motivated NGOs concurrently engaged in ‘lawfare’ against Israel and in amateur speculations from BBC journalists.AI report

Of course much of that material is still available to the general public as ‘permanent public record’ on the BBC News website and no attempt was made – either at the time or since – to provide audiences with impartial professional commentary on the…

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BBC’s Sackur touts ‘racist’ Israel in Hardtalk interview with Herzog

BBC Watch

The April 21st/ 22nd edition of ‘Hardtalk’ featured an interview with the leader of the Israeli Labour party, Yitzhak (Isaac) Herzog. Readers in the UK can find the programme on BBC iPlayer here and a podcast of the programme is availablehere.Herzog on Hardtalk

As is not infrequently the case, viewers and listeners heard presenter Stephen Sackur promoting his own ideas about Israel in the form of ‘questions’ and even some belated election campaign advice to Herzog.

10:42: “I tell you what you could have done – and you talk about fear – what maybe you could have done to the Israeli people is say that if we do not negotiate a two state solution with the Palestinians, then there’s only one other realistic alternative: that is we have a bi-national state – a unitary state – which includes all of the Palestinians in the occupied territories as…

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No BBC reporting on weekend terror incidents

BBC Watch

Late on the night of April 24th an incident took place at a checkpoint on Highway 1 leading into Jerusalem.

“Ali Said Abu Ranam, 16 years old from East Jerusalem, was shot dead after he attempted to stab a Border Police Officer with a butcher knife at a checkpoint near Ma’ale Adumim on Friday night.”No news

A police officer was wounded in rioting which followed the incident.

On April 25thanother incident took place in Hebron.

“A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli Border Police officer in the West Bank city of Hebron Saturday, inflicting moderate injuries. The alleged attacker, aged 20, was shot and wounded, and died of his injuries on the way to a hospital in Jerusalem.

Police said the officer, 19, was stabbed multiple times in the head, neck and chest at an army checkpoint near Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs. A second soldier shot the…

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BBC responds to complaints about Jeremy Bowen’s ‘Today’ interview

BBC Watch

Members of the public who contacted the BBC regarding a claim made by Jeremy Bowen during an interview in the April 14th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme have informed us of the receipt of the following template response from different members of staff at the BBC Complaints department.BBC brick wall

“Thanks for contacting us.

We have raised your concerns with the production team who have provided the following response;

“Thank you for taking the time to contacting us [sic], I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Jeremy Bowen’s contribution to the programme’s items on persecution of Christians on 14 April.

His interview was an analysis of the situation of Christians in Middle Eastern countries, he talked about the various threats and how Christians in various parts of region feel.

He also set this in an historical context, saying Christians had been leaving the Middle East for many years, and that this…

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