Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You know there's something wrong in the world

When an appeal for humanity is labeled political by the BBC (emphasis mine):

Britain's public service broadcaster, the BBC, is facing unprecedented criticism for refusing to broadcast an emergency fundraising appeal for people living in the Gaza Strip.

Long used to winning plaudits for the quality of its journalism, staff at the 97-year-old institution have become accustomed to allegations of left- or right-wing bias.

However, even many BBC journalists are furious at a decision by senior management not to air the appeal this week by an umbrella grouping of 13 charity organizations including the British Red Cross and Save the Children.

The appeal to help Palestinians facing homelessness and hunger following the Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip was broadcast Monday night by three rival broadcasters – Channel 4, ITV, and Five – although not by Sky News, which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Mark Thompson, BBC's director general, said he could not permit the BBC to endanger its impartiality by appearing to endorse an appeal for the victims on one side of a complicated conflict.

"For us to broadcast such a thing would in my view be out of keeping with our strict duty to be impartial," he told one of the BBC's radio channels.

The two-minute appeal, which went out on Monday night, began with images of child victims from Gaza.

A narrator said: "The children of Gaza are suffering. Many are struggling to survive, homeless, and in need of food and water. ... Today, this is not about the rights and wrongs of the conflict. These people simply need your help."

Latest Palestinian death toll: around 1,400. Israeli death toll: 13.


Stela Yordanova said...

Read about the work of the British Red Cross in Gaza on http://www.redcross.org.uk/TLC.asp?id=90152
or if you would like to donate to our appeal please visit www.redcross.org.uk/gazacrisis

Stela Yordanova said...

British Red Cross head of international finance, Andy Brimelaw, is visiting the Palestine Red Crescent to report on how the money has been spent. He will be twittering about his trip.