Our monthly summaries of BBC News website coverage of Israel and the Palestinians (see ‘related articles’ below) show that throughout 2021 audiences saw over eight times more coverage of internal Israeli affairs than they did of internal Palestinian affairs. Five of the year’s twelve months (January, May, October, November and December) saw no new reporting on Palestinian affairs whatsoever.
Of the sixteen reports published throughout the year (compared to 134 items concerning internal Israeli affairs), six concerned the Coronavirus pandemic:
Palestinian officials accuse Israel of blocking vaccine supply Tom Bateman (16/2/21) discussed here
Covid: Palestinians cancel vaccine swap deal with Israel (19/6/21) discussed here
One was an obituary:
Mourid Barghouti: Leading Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti dies aged 76 Sebastian Usher (14/2/21) discussed here
One report concerned a DJ:
Palestinian ‘Techno Queen’ Sama’ Abdulhadi faces court over shrine event Tom Bateman (2/3/21)
Just two items related to the scheduled – and later cancelled – Palestinian election:
Palestinian election: Leaders face reckoning as rare vote looms Tom Bateman (24/4/21) discussed here
Six reports concerned the death of Nizar Banat:
Nizar Banat: Palestinians turn on leaders after activist’s death Joel Greenberg BBC Monitoring (3/7/21)
Nizar Banat: The death shaking the Palestinian leadership Yolande Knell (7/9/21) discussed here
Why Palestinians are protesting against their own government Anastassia Zlatopolskai (7/9/21)
Topics the BBC chose to ignore in 2021 include social issues, crime and violence, political arrests, elections for Hamas’ Gaza Strip political bureau, municipal elections, demolitions, death sentences issued by Hamas, tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and the PIJ, closures of universities and financial rewards for terrorism.
As we have noted in the past, 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. Nevertheless, 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 are sparse.
The BBC continued to provide an airbrushed view of Palestinian society in 2021 with its audiences learning little about the social, political and economic issues affecting everyday life.