A conflict of interests in the BBC’s Gaza Office?

The BBC’s Guidance on Conflicts of Interest states that:

“BBC staff, BBC correspondents and freelances primarily known as BBC news presenters or reporters should not normally write regular columns for non-BBC websites or external publications which are not published by or for the BBC 

It particular they should not write a regular column which deals with: News, current affairs, politics or current world affairs.”


“In some very limited cases, with the prior approval of the relevant Head of Department, a one-off article for a non-BBC publication or website may be written on:

  • News, current affairs or politics
  • Economics, business or finance
  • Matters of current political or public policy debate
  • Media issues
  • Moral or ethical issues or religion

Any such one-off article must be in accordance with the BBC’s values and written in the context of BBC marketing for programmes or in support of the BBC or its interests. BBC copy approval will be required from the relevant Head of Department. No regular column on such issues is acceptable for a non-BBC publication or website.”

A recent Los Angeles Times article included inaccurate information, prompting a request for correction from our colleagues at CAMERA.LA Times Rushdi Abualouf

“The Los Angeles Times incorrectly reported that Friday’s rocket attacks against Israel were the first instance of rocket fire from Gaza since October 2015. In fact, at least twice monthly in November, in December and in January, Palestinian terrorists fired rockets at Israel.”

That article was written by Kate Shuttleworth and Rushdi Abu Alouf with a note at the bottom of the report stating: “Special correspondent Abu Alouf reported from Gaza.”

Previous LA Times articles going back to July 2014 – for example here, here and here – have also been described as being written by “special correspondent” Rushdi Abu Alouf and additional ones – for example here – have included contributions from the same person.

The BBC’s office in the Gaza Strip has for years had a member of staff named Rushdi Abu Alouf who still describes himself as being employed by the corporation on his Twitter account. Unless there happen to be two journalists named Rushdi Abu Alouf in the Gaza Strip it would appear that the above guidance is not being implemented. 

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