Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thompson sticks to his guns over Gaza

It seems that the BBC has shot itself in the foot over the controversy over the Gaza appeal.

Mark Thompson is still unrepentant though and uses the BBC''s editors blog to put his point of view over.

Hats off to him for standing by his principles.I personally question whether he is correct and fear that the BBC has been pushed into a corner over what it initially thought was an easy decision but now thrrough coverage has become a national issue.

Thompson reiterates the reasons behind his decision

One reason was a concern about whether aid raised by the appeal could actually be delivered on the ground. You will understand that one of the factors we have to look at is the practicality of the aid, whic
h the public are being asked to fund, getting through.

but more importantly

This is because Gaza remains a major ongoing news story, in which humanitarian issues - the suffering and distress of civilians and combatants on both sides of the conflict, the debate about who is responsible for causing it and what should be done about it - are both at the heart of the story and contentious. We have and will continue to cover the human side of the conflict in Gaza extensively across our news services where we can place all of the issues in context in an objective and balanced way. After looking at all of the circumstances, and in particular after seeking advice from senior leaders in BBC Journalism, we concluded that we could not broadcast a free-standing appeal

The Observer this morning believes that the corporation has got it wrong.In its editorial it says that

That the population of Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian crisis is a matter of fact, not political hypothesis

This debate will continue to rumble especailly now that ITV and channel 4 have taken the opposite view.

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