Wednesday, August 02, 2006

BBC Worldservice. . . reporting bias

Listening to the BBC Worldservice news programmes (World Update, 5pm, Hong Kong Time), it is striking how much the BBC reports the Israeli point of view.

Opening with airtime given over to Israeli politicians and spindoctors who litter what they have to say with talking points:"terror organisation; civilians as human shields". Followed by airtime for an Israeli military spokesperson who litters what he says with talking points: "terrorist organisation; civilians as human shields".

Next? Further explaining Israeli military strategy, tactics and successes or otherwise, a BBC (Israeli embedded?) reporter files a report on the miltary scorecard from the Israeli frontline.

All of the above? Twenty-odd minutes.

Oh, wait. Currently, the BBC's Dan Damon is interviewing a Syrian spokesperson. The BBC interviewer's questions are quasi-hostile. Three minutes.

Next? Two UK talking heads explain military strategy, in general, and Israeli military strategy, in particular.

The Lebanese? Zilch. Is there a BBC Worldservice interdiction on giving any airtime to anyone from the Lebanese government?

Oh! Wait. Thirty-three minutes into the programme, a Lebanese journalist reports on the Israeli-wrought death and damage today. Two minutes.

Now back to Israel's prime minister saying Hezbollah is being destroyed.

Ah! Thirty-six minutes into the BBC programme, a spokesperson for el-Manar, Hezbollah's TV and radio station. It's not a great phoneline. It's a somewhat hostile interview. Two minutes.

Next? Fierce clashes in Sri Lanka. . .

For a news antidote (streaming audio and video), Democracy Now! -- the War & Peace report, with Amy Goodman: Democracy Now!

No comments: