As has been the case in previous years (see related articles below), the Israel-related content produced by the BBC throughout 2021 often included contributions or information sourced from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Frequently portrayed by the BBC as ‘human rights groups’, those inherently agenda-driven organisations make no claim to provide unbiased information and are obviously not committed to the BBC’s editorial standards.
When political agendas and journalism meet, questions obviously arise concerning accuracy, impartiality and reliability. One of the few safeguards in place comes in the form of the section titled ‘Contributors’ Affiliations’ in the BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality which, since their overhaul in July 2019, states:
“4.3.12 We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities and think-tanks) are unbiased. Appropriate information about their affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints should be made available to the audience, when relevant to the context.” [emphasis added]
Nevertheless, throughout 2021 we once again documented numerous examples of that editorial guideline having been ignored in Middle East-related content sourced in one way or another from political NGOs and their representatives.
One of the topics most vigorously promoted by the BBC in 2021 was a campaign to pressure Israel to vaccinate residents of the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. That campaign began in late 2020 just as Israel began vaccinating its own citizens against the Coronavirus and it was initiated by a group of political NGOs, some of which have a record of lawfare campaigns against Israel, including B’tselem, Amnesty International Israel, Gisha, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, Adalah, Al Mezan and the PCHR.
The BBC enthusiastically amplified that campaign by what it termed “human rights groups” from the beginning of the year.
BBC’S LYSE DOUCET EXPLOITS CORONA VACCINATIONS STORY TO PROMOTE POLITICAL NARRATIVE
BBC’S BATEMAN FAILS TO UNRAVEL CORONAVIRUS VACCINATIONS CANARD
BBC WS RADIO CONTINUES TO AMPLIFY POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON VACCINES
BBC NEWS CHANNEL PROMOTES POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON CORONA VACCINES
BBC JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT CONTINUES TO CLOUD VACCINATIONS ISSUE
BBC CONTINUES MULTI-PLATFORM PROMOTION OF POLITICAL VACCINATIONS CAMPAIGN
BBC JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT’S AMPLIFICATION OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN PERSISTS
BBC’S BATEMAN CONTINUES TO AMPLIFY NGO POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
BBC TWO’S ‘NEWSNIGHT’ PRIORITISES AGENDA OVER INFORMATION
A later petition along the same lines from ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ was also amplified in BBC content.
THE PARTIAL SOURCES BEHIND ANDREW MARR’S BBC ONE TALKING POINTS
‘HARDTALK’: ANOTHER CHAPTER IN BBC PROMOTION OF A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
When ‘Human Rights Watch’ joined that campaign later in January, the BBC also provided a platform for amplification of its talking points.
BBC WS RADIO IGNORES EDITORIAL GUIDELINES IN YET ANOTHER VACCINATIONS ITEM
THE BBC’S ‘DAMNED IF YOU DO’ REPORTING ON VACCINATIONS FOR PALESTINIAN WORKERS
The same was the case when ‘Medical Aid for Palestinians’ joined the campaign.
BBC AGAIN FLOUTS IMPARTIALITY GUIDELINES TO PROMOTE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
Throughout its months-long promotion of that political campaign, the BBC consistently avoided providing audiences with the relevant information concerning the “affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints” of the political NGOs behind it.
In February and March 2021 BBC audiences found ‘Human Rights Watch’ talking points promoted in reports on the topic of the ICC. One of the radio reports on that topic included an interview with a person linked to ‘Al Shabaka’ without listeners being informed of that connection.
ANOTHER SUPERFICIAL BBC NEWS REPORT ON THE ICC
OMISSION IN BBC REPORTING ON ICC INVESTIGATION ANNOUNCEMENT
March 2021 reports on elections in Israel failed to identify one of the contributors as an employee of the ‘Negev Coexistence Forum’.
BBC’S BATEMAN GOES SOUTH IN SUPERFICIAL ELECTION REPORT
In April the BBC provided amplification for a report by ‘Human Rights Watch’ promoting the ‘apartheid’ smear against Israel.
BBC’S ‘TODAY’ TOSSES EDITORIAL GUIDELINES ASIDE IN HRW REPORT PROMOTION
In July the BBC continued to promote the ‘apartheid’ smear with the help of representatives of ‘Adalah’, ‘Al Shabaka’ and the ‘Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy’.
BBC RADIO 4 PROMOTION OF THE APARTHEID SMEAR – PART ONE
BBC RADIO 4 PROMOTION OF THE APARTHEID SMEAR – PART TWO
Another topic vigorously promoted by the BBC in 2021 was the property dispute in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Among the inadequately presented contributors to content on that subject were representatives of ‘Terrestrial Jerusalem’, ‘The Abraham Initiatives’ and ‘Adalah’.
MULTIPLATFORM PROMOTION OF PARTIAL SHEIKH JARRAH NARRATIVE FROM BBC’S PAUL ADAMS
REVIEWING IMPARTIALITY IN BBC COVERAGE OF THE SHEIKH JARRAH CASE – PART TWO
On the same topic BBC audiences saw the promotion of talking points from ‘Peace Now’ along with partisan maps and graphics sourced from ‘B’tselem’ and UN OCHA.
BBC NEWS PRE-EMPTIVELY RECYCLES PARTISAN FRAMING OF SHEIKH JARRAH STORY
REVIEWING IMPARTIALITY IN BBC COVERAGE OF THE SHEIKH JARRAH CASE – PART ONE
In June and August BBC audiences saw the amplification of campaigns concerning illegal construction in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan from ‘Save the Children’, ‘B’tselem’, ‘Ir Amim’ and local campaigning groups.
BBC WS RADIO’S ‘NEWSDAY’ DOES NGO REPORT CHURNALISM
MORE OF THE SAME IN BBC REPORTS FROM SILWAN
ANOTHER CHAPTER IN BBC CAMPAIGNING ON SILWAN
BBC coverage of the death of the Palestinian activist Nizar Banat featured an interviewee from the PFLP-linked NGOs ‘Bisan Center’ and ‘UAWC’ as well as contributors linked to ‘Al Shabaka’.
WHO IS BBC WORLD SERVICE RADIO’S ‘HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST’?
BBC WS MAINSTREAMS UNCHALLENGED ANTI-ISRAEL SMEARS AS ‘THE REAL STORY’
BBC AGAIN FLOUTS EDITORIAL GUIDELINES IN INTERVIEW WITH ‘ACTIVIST’
BBC EDITORIAL GUIDELINES ON CONTRIBUTORS’ AFFILIATIONS IGNORED YET AGAIN
BBC reporting post-Operation Guardian of the Walls included promotion of talking points from an ‘Oxfam’ employee without any clarification being provided regarding that organisation’s anti-Israel activity.
BBC WS RADIO BUSINESS PROGRAMMES REHASH OLD GAZA BLOCKADE FORMAT
Reports put out by ‘Human Rights Watch’ concerning that round of conflict were uncritically promoted by the BBC.
NO SURPRISES: BBC PROMOTES HRW’S LATEST ANTI-ISRAEL SCREED
BBC NEWS REAMPLIFIES HRW CLAIMS OF ‘NO MILITARY TARGETS’
A BBC report about violence in the city of Lod during Operation Guardian of the Walls included footage sourced from ‘Adalah’.
BBC FILM ON LOD PROMOTES INACCURACIES, RAISES QUESTIONS
In July BBC audiences heard from a representative of ‘HaMoked’ on the topic of an Israeli law without any “appropriate information about that organisation’s affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints” being provided.
BBC RADIO 4 MISLEADS WITH INACCURATE PORTRAYALS OF ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP LAW
Also in July, BBC audiences saw amplification of a project involving ‘Amnesty International’ concerning the NSO Group.
BBC NEWS AGAIN ERASES THE BRITISH CONNECTION TO SPYWARE STORY
BBC CONTINUES TO FRAME SPYWARE STORY AS EXCLUSIVELY ISRAEL LINKED
In October BBC audiences saw more unquestioning promotion of the ‘apartheid’ trope and the BDS campaign as advanced by ‘Human Rights Watch’, ‘B’tselem’ and ‘PACBI’ in reports about the author Sally Rooney.
LONGTIME BBC EDITORIAL POLICIES RESURFACE IN RADIO 4 NEWS ROONEY REPORT
MORE UNCRITICAL BBC AMPLIFICATION FOR ISRAEL DELEGITIMISATION CAMPAIGNS
The same month saw amplification of claims concerning Facebook made by NGOs called ‘Sada Social’ and ‘7amleh’.
WHAT LIES BEHIND BBC REPORTING ON ‘ALLEGED CENSORSHIP OF PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS’?
When Israel designated six Palestinian NGOs because of their links to the PFLP terrorist organisation in October, BBC audiences saw amplification of statements by ‘Amnesty International’ and ‘Human Rights Watch’ as well as the talking points of two of the Palestinian NGOs concerned – Al Haq and Addameer – and a related campaign by the BDS-supporting group ‘Artists for Palestine UK’.
BBC RADIO 4 NEWS BULLETIN FRAMING OF PFLP LINKED NGO DESIGNATIONS
BBC’S KNELL UNCRITICALLY AMPLIFIES PFLP LINKED NGOS’ TALKING POINTS
BBC WS RADIO CONTINUES TO PROMOTE A MONOCHROME VIEW OF THE PFLP NGOS STORY
YET ANOTHER SHALLOW BBC REPORT ON PFLP LINKED NGOS
A report about planning published in November promoted talking points from ‘Peace Now’ as well as partisan map sourced from ‘B’tselem’.
LATEST BBC REPORT ON ISRAELI CONSTRUCTION: SAME AS ALL THE OTHERS
Also in November, BBC audiences heard from a representative of a political organisation called ‘Mesarvot’.
BBC WS RADIO AIRS INARTICULATE PREACHING ON ‘THE CONSCIENCE OF ISRAEL’
The NGOs quoted, promoted and interviewed by the BBC come overwhelmingly from one side of the spectrum as far as their political approach to Israel is concerned and many of them are active in ‘lawfare’ and propaganda campaigns against Israel. Yet the BBC serially fails to meet its own editorial guidelines by clarifying their “particular viewpoint”, affiliations and sources of funding. As in previous years, in 2021 BBC audiences hence once again remained unaware of the fact that the largely homogeneous information they receive about Israel is consistently unbalanced.
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred Middle East NGOs
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2014
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2015
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2016
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2017
Promoted and quoted: the BBC’s preferred NGO contributors in 2018
PROMOTED AND QUOTED: THE BBC’S PREFERRED NGO CONTRIBUTORS IN 2019
PROMOTED AND QUOTED: THE BBC’S PREFERRED NGO CONTRIBUTORS IN 2020
BBC rules and regulations.
Rule one: Print a pack of lies because it will be days, weeks, months or even years before the complaints section forces a correction.
Rule two: Use any NGO who is prepared to sell his grandmother for a few quid, in return for a totally biased anti-Israel report, to satisfy his or her own rabid Jew hatred.
Rule three: Ignore any other regulations and post what you want on social media to stir up further Jew hatred across the globe. #defundthebbc