Our monthly summaries of BBC News website coverage of Israel and the Palestinians (see ‘related articles’ below) show that throughout 2020 audiences saw over five times more coverage of internal Israeli affairs than they did of internal Palestinian affairs. Four of the year’s twelve months (January, May, June and September) saw no reporting on Palestinian affairs whatsoever.
Over half of the BBC’s reporting on Palestinian affairs throughout the year related to the Coronavirus pandemic, mostly in the Gaza Strip.
Coronavirus: ‘Gaza has no resources to fight this virus’ (6/4/20) discussed here
Palestinians working in Israel face coronavirus dilemma Yolande Knell (29/4/20) discussed here
Gaza’s health workers struggle to contain outbreak (26/8/20) discussed here
Covid: Gaza health system ‘days from being overwhelmed’ (22/11/20) discussed here
Two reports focused on other health issues in the Gaza Strip.
Mental health: Coping with the trauma of living in Gaza (29/2/20) discussed here
Two reports covered the illness and death of Saeb Erekat.
Coronavirus: Top Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in ‘critical’ condition (18/10/20) discussed here
Saeb Erekat: Key Palestinian negotiator dies of Covid-19 (10/11/20) discussed here
One report related to the annual olive harvest and another to the demolition of illegally-built structures in Area C.
Olive harvest in jeopardy as tensions rise at the West Bank Tom Bateman (16/10/20) discussed here
Israel rebuked for ‘biggest demolition of Palestinian homes in years’ (5/11/20) discussed here
Just one report throughout the whole year related to social issues within Palestinian society.
Samaa Abdulhadi: Activists call for release of ‘Palestinian techno queen’ Tala Halawa (30/12/20)
In contrast to the reporting on Israeli affairs, BBC audiences received no information concerning internal Palestinian politics, the economy, legal/criminal issues or – with the one exception noted above – social issues.
The BBC is one of the few Western media outlets to have a bureau in Gaza City in addition to its offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah. However, as has often been observed here in the past, only very occasionally do BBC audiences see stand-alone reports concerning internal Palestinian affairs which are not framed within the context of ‘the conflict’ and do not have an Israel-related component. That editorial policy continued throughout 2020, providing the BBC’s funding public with an overwhelmingly one-dimensional and airbrushed view of Palestinian society.