BBC republishes disappeared ‘Israel and the Palestinians’ style guide

Readers may recall that in early 2021 the BBC decided to remove the BBC Academy’s guide for journalists reporting on ‘Israel and the Palestinians’ from public view on the BBC Academy website:

“As part of a broader strategy to move BBC Academy training content to focus internally and on skills not editorial content we identified for removal a wealth of content, particularly the editorially led, internationally focussed style guides as these do not fit the remit of internal skills training which is now the strategic focus of the BBC Academy. The article you are referring to has been removed as part of this project along with a significant number of other pages on a wide variety of subjects.”

The BBC’s funding public was not informed whether that “journalists’ guide to facts and terminology” – which had been made available to all on the recommendation of the BBC Governors’ independent panel report on the impartiality of BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2006 – was still in use. Many, including ourselves, were therefore not sure whether its content could be references in complaints that needed to be made to the BBC.

An answer to those questions now appears to have presented itself.

The webpage of the BBC News style guide now includes a section titled ‘Israel and the Palestinians’:

That link leads to a page which appears to have been added on November 15th 2022:

No explanation is provided as to why that style guide was not available to the general public online for over a year and a half or why it has suddenly been republished at this juncture.   

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