BBC’s Secret BiasMar 4, 2012 at 11:48:37 PM
It’s now final: Britain's Supreme Court has ruled that BBC can keep secret the results of the Balen Report on anti-Israel bias.
The background of this case is quite incredible. In 2004, BBC assigned its senior editor, Malcolm Balen, to report on whether or not BBC’s coverage of Israel was balanced.
Balen compiled a 20,000-word analysis which was apparently highly critical of BBC's Israel coverage. Yet BBC executives refused to let anyone see the Balen Report.
Then they spent $360,000 in legal fees to block its publication!
How's that for a twist on the idea of journalists "fighting for the public's right to know"?
What makes this so scandalous is that BBC is essentially a public agency. In the UK, every individual pays an annual fee to fund the BBC. As such, BBC has a greater responsibility to be transparent and open.
As noted in my book, David & Goliath, an independent “Impartiality Review Panel later found that BBC's reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did "not consistently constitute a full and fair account of the conflict but rather, in important respects, presents an incomplete and in that sense misleading picture." The panel further concluded that BBC displays "gaps in coverage, analysis, context and perspective" and fails to "maintain consistently the BBC's own established editorial standards."
It doesn’t take an expert to know that BBC coverage is skewed against Israel. Unfortunately, BBC’s own internal report will never see the light of day, thanks to this British Supreme Court decision.