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March 24, 2006

BBC (Temporarily) Adopts Partisan Terminology

As British columnist Stephen Pollard points out, the BBC appears to have published blatently biased language in a news report by veteran BBC correspondent Alan Johnston. The language, which described a Hamas opinion as if it were fact, was eventually (and surreptitiously) changed.

Pollard writes on his Web site:

The report originally read thus:

Hamas has largely been respecting a ceasefire, despite frequent Israeli army provocations, for more than a year, and it is unlikely to go back on the offensive now.

My correspondent complained about the bias of the report, which portrays Hamas as heroically doing its bit for peace in the face of 'frequent' IDF 'provocation'.

The wording was then changed to this:

Hamas has largely been respecting a ceasefire, despite what it sees as frequent Israeli army provocations, for more than a year, and it is unlikely to go back on the offensive now.

I'd say that's still pretty reprehensible, but it is at least better than the first version. But the site makes no acknowledgement of the change ...

Although Pollard's description is based on hearsay (someone emailed him to complain about the original article and the change), this screen shot from a Google search suggests that the BBC did, in fact, allow such partisan language make its way past editors and onto its Web site:

bbcscreenshot.JPG

Posted by GI at March 24, 2006 09:52 AM

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