BBC on the Burner

BBC refused to air request for Gaza aid to “maintain neutrality“.

Masud advises:

You can register your own complain here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

Here is what I wrote:

I wish to complain about the BBC’s decision to not allow the DEC appeal for Gaza to go ahead. This is a very disgraceful decision and will cost lives on the ground. I do not buy the BBC’s official line that it affects its impartiality since this was not a concern for other similar appeals. I can only think that the BBC has succumbed to some external pressure from a foreign government. This is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation and as a license fee payer I am angry, annoyed and disgusted at this decision for which there is no conceivable reason. Could you please publish the minutes of the meeting in which this decision was made and why and I would like to know which of the directors/trustees decided against the DEC appeal?

EVERYONE I have spoken to, regardless of their ethnic or religious background, cannot understand this ludicrous and cruel decision, it would seem that the overwhelming majority of the BRITISH public do not agree with you. In fact I think it is safe to say that given this it is the BBC that is currently not acting impartially.

Yours angered, annoyed and disgusted.

Masud A. Khan

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(Video via MR)

All the more reason to support Al Jazeera.

2 thoughts on “BBC on the Burner

  1. Re: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7849616.stm “Director general Mark Thompson has said by airing the appeal the BBC would risk reducing public confidence in its impartial coverage of the conflict. ” Don’t you realize that it is partiality to block the urge for help? Don’t you realize that if Israel were to be hit comparably, DEC will give aid to Israel as well? Please stop all this nonsense, and help those who need help. It doesn’t matter if they are Gazans or Israelis.

  2. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/01/2009125185514535196.html

    BBC ‘open to Gaza appeal rethink’

    Protests took place on Saturday against the BBC who have received over 10,000 compliants via email [AFP]

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has said it is open to reconsidering its earlier decision not to telecast a charity appeal for funds for Palestinians in Gaza.

    The chief operating officer of the BBC, under fire for its refusal to air the appeal, said a reversal of the decision was possible if another request to air the appeal was made.

    “We never say never and clearly, if the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) came to us with another request when things have calmed down and we didn’t have the same worries about the controversial nature of this, we would look at it again in that light,” Caroline Thompson told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

    The DEC is made up of charities including the British Red Cross and Oxfam and its request for telecasting an appeal for funds was turned down by the BBC.

    In explaining its decision, the BBC said the telecast might compromise its impartiality.

    In a blog post on the broadcaster’s website, Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, wrote: “Gaza remains a major ongoing news story, in which humanitarian issues … are both at the heart of the story and contentious.

    “It is sometimes not a comfortable place to be, but we have a duty to ensure that nothing risks undermining our impartiality. It is to protect that impartiality that we have made this difficult decision.”

    Growing criticism

    The BBC’s refusal to broadcast the appeal has shocked and suprised many.

    “By declining their request, the BBC has already taken sides and foresaken impartiality.”

    John Sentamu
    Archbishop of York

    Steven James, an organiser for the UK-based Medical Aid for Palestinians organisation, told Al Jazeera: “This is about helping women, children and civilians caught up in the situation, in a time when they really need aid.

    “Quite frankly, we are astonished at the BBC.”

    Pressure on the BBC to air the appeal has mounted, with the broadcaster receiving more than 10,000 compliants via email.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has also waded into the row.

    “My feeling is that the BBC should broadcast an appeal,” Rowan Williams, the Anglican leader, said on Sunday.

    John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York and the second most senior Anglican clergyman, added that the row is not about impartiality, but
    humanity.

    “This is not an appeal by Hamas asking for arms but by the Disasters Emergency Committee asking for relief,” Sentamu said.

    “By declining their request, the BBC has already taken sides and foresaken impartiality.”

    More than 50 members of the British parliament have also signed a motion condemning the move.

    The MPs backed a parliamentary motion saying that they were “astonished” by the BBC’s move and called its explanations “unconvincing and incoherent”.

    The decision drew fierce criticism from Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, while thousands of people protested against the BBC’s stance in central London on Saturday.

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