BBC reporters criticize editorial policy in letter to Al Jazeera

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BBC correspondents critique company for ‘adopting a pro-Israel stance on the Israeli-Hamas conflict and for providing insufficient coverage of Palestinian civilians in comparison to Israelis’

BBC reporters criticize editorial policy in letter to Al Jazeera

Eight employees based in the United Kingdom at the BBC sent a 2,300-word letter to Al Jazeera on Thursday, as reported by the news outlet.

In the letter, the reporters accused the corporation of displaying bias in favor of Israel, asserting that the BBC, known for its uncompromising coverage of Russia's alleged war crimes in Ukraine, applied a double standard in its treatment of civilians during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"By failing to be critical of Israel's claims, the BBC failed to tell the story accurately and therefore failed to help the public understand the human rights violations in Gaza,” the letter said.

Pointing out that thousands of Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7, the letter asked, "When will this number be high enough to change our editorial stance?"

‘TERMS SUCH AS MASSACRE ONLY FOR HAMAS’

BBC reporters noted that in the letter, the organization used terms such as "massacre" and "atrocity" "only in reference to Hamas and portrayed Hamas as the sole instigator and perpetrator of violence in the region".

"We ask the BBC to reflect better and credit the evidence-based findings of official and impartial humanitarian organizations," the letter said.

BBC reporters also called on the corporation to "ensure that the equal treatment of all civilians is at the centre of its coverage".

The letter pointed out that the BBC's broadcasts gave extensive coverage to Israelis who lost their lives in the attacks.

"In contrast, humanitarian coverage of Palestinian civilians has been lacking. It is a weak excuse to say that the BBC cannot better tell the stories from Gaza because of difficulties in accessing the Gaza Strip. This could be achieved, for example, by telling and following individual stories over weeks. There has also been little attempt to fully utilize the abundance of social media content from brave journalists in Gaza and the West Bank,” it stated.

The letter also highlighted that the BBC had failed to provide its viewers with important information about the history of the Israeli occupation and Palestinian suffering.

BBC DENIES ALLEGATIONS

In an email to Al Jazeera, a BBC spokesperson they have responded to the allegations by saying that the coverage of the conflict clearly demonstrated the humanitarian tragedy facing civilians in Gaza and Israel.

The spokesperson also sent examples of BBC coverage of the war and a list of human interest stories of Palestinian suffering.

Source: Al Jazeera

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