Monday, January 26, 2009

BBC - time to call off the dogs

Because of all the furore over the DEC Gaza appeal decision, allied with the BBC's customary excellent coverage of itself, the BBC has given the Gaza appeal about 100 times more publicity (albeit tangentially via news broadcasts) than these appeals usually get.

Mark Thomson, the BBC DG, gave a tenable defence of the BBC's decision this morning on Today. He said that due to the contentiousness of the aid situation, it would compromise the BBC's impartiality if they broadcast the appeal. With great passion, I don't agree with his view, but I can understand, it given his position.

The BBC, and Sky (who have also decided not to broadcast the appeal) are in a position not completely shared by ITV, Channel 4 and 5 (who have agreed to air the appeal). The BBC and Sky are international broadcasters. And given the amount of criticism the BBC has already attracted on its Gaza coverage, I can understand their sensitivity.

There comes a point where you have to allow the BBC to make up its own mind.

Otherwise, there is no point in having a BBC.

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