Jeremy Dear on the BBC and the DEC appeal
February 2, 2009 § 1 Comment
The general secretary of the National Union of Journalists Jeremy Dear has written a piece for Tribune criticising the BBC’s DEC decision. Dear says he has received “emails from senior BBC journalists who say this decision makes the BBC look pro-Israeli and indifferent to the plight of 1.5 million Palestinian victims and those who say the BBC has breached its own rules on impartiality.” He also makes some contentious observations on the BBC’s coverage of Israel’s assault and criticises the response from the anti-war movement:
This week, I witnessed protestors outside Broadcasting House chanting: “BBC hear us say, how many kids have you killed today?” Well, none. It is not true, as many anti-war groups have claimed, that the BBC has “capitulated to the Israeli lie machine”. There has been some excellent journalism during this conflict by BBC and other journalists, despite the Israeli ban on foreign reporters entering Gaza and the arrest and the killing of five Palestinian journalists.
And those who threaten a boycott of the BBC licence fee are mistaken. Those on the right have spent years trying to undermine BBC funding for their own political and commercial self-interest. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of destroying the BBC in the long term because of heartfelt, but short-term, anger at this decision.