Randy's Corner Deli Library

15 November 2003

BBC, Smarting From Criticism, Appoints Special Editor

15:54 Nov 13, '03 / 18 Cheshvan 5764

BBC has given in to continuous criticism of its allegedly pro-Arab bias
coverage of Middle East news, and has appointed a special editor to oversee
its Middle East coverage. Malcolm Balen, a former editor of the BBC's
central Nine O'Clock News edition, will assume the post, working from London
but in close cooperation with the BBC bureau in Jerusalem. A BBC
spokeswoman denied that Balen's appointment was an admission of anti-Israel
bias. She said, "We aim that his appointment will help us to build
relationships with all parties in the region. It's obviously a difficult,
sensitive area for all broadcasters to work from."

Israel's perception of BBC's bias was so strong that Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon barred the corporation from a press conference during his visit to
London earlier this year. Media watchdog association HonestReporting.com
awarded its Dishonest Reporting Award of last year to BBC, and said that the
British corporation had received "a slew of nominations again this year.
Members particularly criticized BBC for being caught altering a quote by
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, substituting the word 'terror' with the
word 'violence' in reference to Palestinians."

One media watchdog group that concentrates on the European media is
Take-A-Pen, and can be visited at www.take-a-pen.org/english/index.html.


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