Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BBC's Response Re: DEC Gaza Appeal

For the sake of balance after posting Sky's response here is the one I received from the BBC this morning at 5:36.

Thank you for your e-mail.

We note your disappointment at our decision
not to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee to raise funds
for Gaza.

We decided not to broadcast the DEC's public appeal because we
wished to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC's
impartiality in the context of covering a continuing news story where issues of
responsibility for civilian suffering and distress are intrinsic to the story
and remain highly contentious. We also could not be confident that the aid
resulting from audience donations could reach those it was intended for at a
time of a fragile ceasefire and sporadic border access. We will of course
continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza.

The BBC's
director-general Mark Thompson has therefore explained the decision in more
detail in a number of television and radio broadcasts and online at our Editors'
blog. Please follow the link to read his explanation in full:

Please be assured that we have registered your comments on our audience
log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for
all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their
senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we
receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

Once again, thank
you for taking the time to contact us.


BBC Complaints

So nothing really new or exciting to add there then. They still are less confident than the DEC members that aid will get where it is intended and the continuing mask of responsibility.

One thing that does stand out was the line "We will of course continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza" so that while the BBC admits there is a humanitarian story in Gaza it isn't prepared to give its viewers a chance to act on that in the most convenient way.

Also saying that "issues of responsibility for civilian suffering and distress" which remain highly contentious. I'm sure we can all see that 1,300 deaths many civilian against 13 death all military would be a hight contentious issue, only if you were wanted to be impartial about it in favour of the side with the least casualties.


Stuart Winton said...

The BBC wrote:

"We will of course continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza."

That doesn't sound very impartial! If they can do that, why not broadcast the appeal?

Stephen Glenn said...

Indeed Stuart. I haven't yet had the time to dissect the wording of this as I had the Sky one yesterday, cruising along on the bus and writing another entry diodn't help.

That phrase was one that caught my attention though.


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