On November 1st the BBC put out the following Tweet:
The link leads to a blog post titled “BBC Monitoring: spotting fake news since the Second World War” written by the director of BBC Monitoring, Sara Beck.
“BBC Monitoring is a specialist part of BBC News, part of the World Service group. We have experienced journalists and linguists who follow and track international media in foreign languages, in over 150 countries and about 100 languages.
We monitor that information, we report and analyse it, and we work on a subscription website basis. All our content is available to the BBC and to the UK Government and we also have commercial customers. […]
BBC Monitoring was set up to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany in the war, explaining propaganda and spotting messaging in media. Verification – and then the reporting of stories where fake news is part of the media, is still part of what we do.
I’m pleased that the World Service is pulling together all its coverage of fake news. Monitoring is a central part of that, and we’re also developing a small team that is solely going to be dedicated to disinformation and the manipulation of messaging in the media in certain parts of the world.”
However, past stories produced by BBC Monitoring have themselves not always been free from “disinformation and the manipulation of messaging”.
BBC WS airbrushes terror out of a story about Palestinian prisoners
BBC Monitoring steers clear of key parts of the Jerusalem story
Dumbing down ME politics with BBC Monitoring
Inaccuracies in BBC backgrounder on Sinai terrorists
BBC Monitoring uses Sykes-Picot anniversary to promote conspiracy theory
BBC Monitoring digs up the dirt with cleaners non-story
BBC Monitoring euphemises terror, whitewashes antisemitism, claims Egyptian Jews ‘vanished’
BBC Monitoring plays down Saudi concerns over Iranian nuclear programme
BBC Monitoring amplifies Iranian Charlie Hebdo conspiracy theory
On BBC Monitoring’s fantasy ‘ban’ and short skirt syndrome
BBC Monitoring’s news: repetition of an anonymous BTL comment
No translation necessary, but BBC Monitoring embroiders
BBC Monitoring amplifies PA outlet’s propaganda
A service announcement for BBC Monitoring
BBC Monitoring puffs wind in the sails of professional anti-Israel campaigners
Let’s hope that the first of those “certain parts of the world” will be BBC Monitoring’s own new offices in Broadcasting House.