Indeed, despite a (rare) rap over the knuckles from the BBC Trust for bias on the part of its Middle East editor (who remained defiant) in 2009, the BBC, with honorable exceptions among its reporting team, has carried on regardless.
After all, like the senior BBC figure (author of a book on the PLO) who wrote this article decrying the Trust's verdict, the present head of the Trust has a background of overt partisanship with the Palestinian cause.
Al Beeb's leftist anti-Western mindset (of the type identified by David Pryce-Jones, whom I've quoted in the preceding post), which informs its view of the Palestinians vis-à-vis Israel, and of the world in general, pervades the BBC's College of Journalism (CoJo), which is (to quote its website)
"part of the BBC Academy, oversees training for the BBC’s entire editorial staff.
This website focuses on best practice in core editorial skills, and offers an overview of specialist areas as well as legal and ethical issues.
It is a site about BBC journalism for BBC journalists, but is available to everyone."On the CoJo website there are earnest, self-righteous, and self-indulgent sections on a number of themes, all for the edification of novice or intending journalists. A sturdy leftist strand dominates, and is evident in the accordance of guest posts (guest posters are a privileged group indeed, for most of the posts appear to come in-house, and there appear to be none that reflect a rightwing perspective).
There's a curious spin on the subject of impartiality (which by the terms of its Charter and Producers' Guidelines the BBC is obligated to manifest but palpably does not). In fact the section is risible, indeed seemingly delusional, since the BBC does not present all sides of all issues, and effectively censors developments that do not fit its leftist, politically correct agenda by omitting to report them (certain race hate crimes are a notable case in point):
'Impartiality is one of the hallmarks of the BBC’s journalism....
Impartiality is also a matter of trust.
Impartiality is not the same as objectivity or balance or neutrality, although it contains elements of all three. Nor is it the same as simply being fair – although it is unlikely you will be impartial without being fair-minded. At its simplest it means not taking sides.
Impartiality is about providing a breadth of view....
Impartiality is about enabling the national debate – assuring that people, over time or the course of a debate, will hear all significant opinions and have access to the information they need to make an informed choice....
Audiences turn to the BBC to help them to make sense of events through disinterested analysis and by hearing a range of relevant facts, views and opinions....
Reporting around the world
Being an impartial witness to events does not mean being mealy mouthed about them. Due impartiality does not require absolute neutrality on every issue or detachment from fundamental democratic values....
Some stories, such as with wars or election campaigns, unfold over weeks or months. It’s the responsibility of the editor in charge of a particular section of output to ensure that over time all significant and relevant voices have been heard. '
The BBC's political bias is clearly discernible in the cosy relationship it enjoys with the journalistic Frontline Club, which is well left of centre, a fact that shows in the topics it presents for discussion, and the discussants it selects. See here for its past events concerning Israel: they are in content and personnel notably pro-Palestinian. In fact, many appear to demonise Israel in the way that Amnesty International does.
As I've remarked before:
"BBC employees have been judges on journalistic awards given out by Amnesty International (a controversial organisation these days, and certainly one not particularly enamoured of Israel). Even if the BBC employees concerned have the best of motives, in my view this involvement is not in keeping with impartiality."And BBC employees, such as Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, appear as guests of the Frontline Club.
Later this month, John Pilger will be addressing the Club on the topic "Reflections". But the Club is not his sole host. Its website reports of the fully-booked event:
"In association with BBC College of Journalism
Renowned investigative journalist, author and documentary film-maker John Pilger will be joining us in conversation with broadcaster, journalist and writer Charles Glass to look back on half a century of reporting from around the world....."Pilger's longstanding hostility towards Israel is notorious. This is the man who, for instance, declared in an execrable piece in the Daily Mirror a couple of years ago:
"Is Israel now a rogue state? ....
Like so much of the language that journalists use about Israel, ever frightened of being called anti-Semitic, “rogue” is soft. Israel is a criminal state."
The Frontline Club can invite Pilger, or whoever else it pleases.
But that the BBC is sponsoring a talk by such a demoniser of Israel, so partisan an individual, is reprehensible.
That the BBC gets away with such conduct is more reprehensible still.