THE BBC and THE MIDDLE EAST A CRITICAL STUDY - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
April 17, 2002 - From IMRA
TREVOR ASSERSON And ELISHEVA
MIRONI (Research Assistant)
[Trevor Asserson is a UK solicitor based in London. He is a partner in an international
Law Firm where he is global head of litigation. He was called to the Israeli Bar in 1992.
Elisheva Mironi is an Israeli lawyer, who has recently obtained her Masters in Human
Rights Law including Media Law at University College London.]
This study seeks to provide a thorough analysis of BBC coverage of the Israeli Palestinian
conflict, and to assess the BBC's adherence to its own Guidelines, in particular with
respect to its obligations of impartiality and accuracy.
As far as possible we have sought to approach the material in an objective manner. We have
selected material in a consistent non-random fashion, and have likewise analysed a variety
of 'control' sources in a similarly non-random fashion.
We have found that the BBC preserves a superficial impartiality by allotting broadly
similar time to supporters of each side to the conflict. However against most other
criteria we have found the BBC to fall consistently short of its aim of impartial and
Breaches are at times subtle, and such as might pass unnoticed by a casual observer. Some
breaches are perhaps minor, and would not be worthy of note in isolation. Taken together
however we believe that even these subtler or more minor breaches reveal a clear and
significant trend of bias.
Some of the breaches are in our view quite glaring. At times, by a mere selection or
omission of facts, the BBC provides a report which portrays the very opposite of the
truth. Frequently the BBC report is misleading. At times it appears to invent material to
suit its own bias.
Whilst some errors of judgement will inevitably occur, we detected a consistent trend
which demands an explanation beyond mere error. All of the many breaches of the Guidelines
which we have highlighted in this report appear to us to indicate a marked and consistent
pro- Palestinian bias within the BBC.
This report could not have been written without the dedication, intelligence and skill of
my research assistant Elisheva Mironi.
This report contains the independent views of the author.
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