Saturday, January 24, 2009

The BBC have refused to broadcast an appeal for Gaza, on the basis that it would call into question their journalistic independence.

I am rather puzzled by this stance, which seems to be a new idea for the BBC. They have previously broadcast appeals for humanitarian aid (in Darfur for example), without worrying about whether this would affect their judgement or impartiality in news reporting.

In some ways I believe that taking this stance is less impartial than simply allowing the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to make a judgement about which humanitarian disasters warrant urgent aid. Currently, Israel is not in need of humanitarian aid, and if they were, I hope the BBC would broadcast an appeal for them too. I am not partisan, I would want any country, or group of people in dire need of aid, to receive it.

To be truly impartial the BBC must not make political judgements about humanitarian aid, and should leave those decisions to the charities working in the field.

No comments: