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It seems some people needed a special report in order to find out that the BBC is biased against Israel. They could not find it out from their broadcasts and articles. They could not know it even though BBC newspeople have actually admitted being biased against Israel.

Presumably, until now everyone didn't notice or thought it was OK when BBC and other news stations referred to terrorists operating against Israel as "militants," while those operating in Britain or against British targets were called "terrorists. Presumably, everyone thought it was perfectly natural and justified for the BBC Web site to display only comments of Lebanese victims about the Israel Lebanon war, and not display comments of Israelis. Obviously it was also correct for BBC to display, for several years, a totally outdated and incorrect map of the security fence, which deliberately gave the impression that Israel was about to fence off 40% of the West Bank.

However, for many people, a fact is not a fact until it is stated in a report. Just such a report was prepared, and, surprisingly enough, the report found that the BBC is biased against Israel. The BBC in its wisdom, decided that this news would disturb the peace of the realm. It therefore buried the report, along with hundreds of other reports critical of the BBC.

Alas, the BBC, like Macbeth, may discover that the truth will out. According to Honest Reporting:

Back in November 2003, Malcolm Balen was appointed by the BBC as a "senior editorial advisor" to improve Mideast coverage. According to Ha'aretz, Balen was to issue an internal report to BBC executives. Balen, however, disappeared from view and his report was buried in the vaults of White City despite numerous requests from outside organisations to view its contents.

One London solicitor persevered and a tribunal has now ruled that the BBC was wrong to deny access to the Balen Report, opening the way for many other previous requests to be resubmitted. There are many people who would be very interested to see Balen's conclusions regarding the BBC's treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. HonestReporting UK will now submit its own request to the BBC for access to the Balen Report.

More details on the case are given below. (at http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000268.html ). The surprising ruling states that the Freedom of Information act means that the British people have the right to get information - a novel concept -and that the standard dodge used by the BBC to bury such reports is not valid. This will probably open the floodgates for release of hundreds of other buried reports. There is no telling what earthshaking, sensitive, sensational news might be in them. British people might learn for the first time that India is no longer a colony and that Queen Victoria is dead.

As for BBC, according to Press Gazette, "The BBC told Press Gazette that the corporation was unable to make a comment on the ruling until it had time to consider the findings in greater detail."

Hat tip: Israpundit.

Ami Isseroff

FoI ruling means BBC may reveal Middle East report

By Martin Stabe

Thursday, 7 September 2006
The Information Tribunal has ruled against the BBC in the first case testing the exposure of the corporation's journalism to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

It decided the corporation had been wrong to deny a request for an internal report about its coverage of the Middle East using a blanket derogation in the law that exempts the BBC from releasing information about its journalism.

The BBC, Channel 4 and Welsh broadcaster S4C are only covered by the Freedom of Information Act "for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature".

In April, Press Gazette revealed that since the act came into force in January 2005, the BBC had rejected more than 400 requests by citing the derogation.

Among the rejected requests was one by London solicitor Steven Sugar, who had asked the corporation to release an internal report on its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, written in 2004 by senior editorial advisor Malcolm Balen The corporation's decision to deny the request was later upheld on appeal by the Information Commissioner.

Overturning the Commissioner's ruling, the tribunal decided that the derogation does not apply to the Balen Report because at the time of the request the BBC had been using it for strategic, rather than for journalistic, purposes.

The decision hinged on the tribunal's assessment of the meaning of "journalism" in the FoI legislation and whether the BBC's claim that it held the Balen Report only "for the purposes of journalism" was accurate.

The tribunal decided that the key distinction was between "functional journalism" and "the direction of policy, strategy and resources that provide the framework within which the operations of a [public service broadcaster] take place".

The decision of the tribunal now leaves the way open for some of the 400 rejected requests to be re-submitted.

These include a request by Press Gazette for information on the number of BBC journalists earning more than £100,000. The BBC told Press Gazette that the corporation was unable to make a comment on the ruling until it had time to consider the findings in greater detail.

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000268.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 3 Comments

BBC = Blatant Bigotry Corporation.

Anubhav, Thursday, October 26th

BBC and CNN and all those other big news channels with Hashem's help will lose all their viewers and become beggers on the street. AMEN!

Tamir Jacobi, Sunday, October 22nd

The BBC internet pages in languages other than English receive little attention. However, what goes on there is beyond comprehension. Take, for example, this page in Russian: http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/specials/israel_maps/2.stm
It describes the Gaza strip as being occupied by Israel, stating that 40 percent of the Gaza strip territory is occupied by 6900 Jewish settlers. It is more than a year since the last Jew left the region, implementing the Hitler's "Juden frei" vision. However, it is never good enough for BBC, is it?
I wrote letters to BBC staff responsible for the internet site both in Russian and in English and of course got no answer and nothing changed on the above page - since June!
Or take for example the page http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/specials/israel_maps/7.stm.
This is the first installment of their description of their 9-page series of maps describing the Arab-Israeli conflict and is devoted to the Sykes-Picot agreement. This gives an impression of the Jewish history in Israel as starting in 1916, ignoring the 3000 years of Jewish presence and not mentioning even the Balfour declaration - aparently because because all this gives wrong impression about the "legal rights of the palestinean people". The latter is the cliche of the Soviet propaganda, and the BBC coverage of the Middle East affairs in Russian adheres to its standards.

Alex Zaslavsky, Thursday, October 19th

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