Saturday, December 28, 2013

28-Dec-13: If the news channels don't report the constant attacks on Israelis, did they happen?

BBC's operating budget in 2011/2012 was almost five billion pounds
[Source: BBC Annual Budget Report 2012]

Here's an extract (below) from an excellent analysis published today by BBC Watch ("Monitoring BBC coverage of Israel for accuracy and impartiality"). It's another contribution from a careful and accurate source to the absolutely necessary ongoing critique of mainstream media channels and the calculated distortions they, most particularly the BBC, willingly or recklessly introduce into the public space. 

The headline of the BBC Watch piece is "80% of December missile attacks from Gaza Strip ignored by BBC". It addresses a theme that we have taken on ourselves as a mission. We say that unless people know what the terrorists do, they can never understand the character of the defensive measures taken by their targets - in our case, Israel. 

(The rocket attacks to which this article below refers were, naturally, reported in our blog here, here and here).
The shooting of an Israeli civilian near the Gaza Strip-Israel border on December 24th was – as noted here previously – one of numerous recent incidents  in that area including attempts to breach the border fence, rioting and attempts to lay improvised explosive devices.   On December 26th, two separate incidents of missile fire from the Gaza Strip occurred; one in the early hours of the morning and one in the evening. In response, the Israeli air force targeted a weapons manufacturing facility and a weapons storage facility. Neither of those missile attacks on the Hof Ashkelon area – home to 13,500 civilians – was reported by the BBC. Not all missiles fired by terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip land in Israeli territory: a significant proportion of them (some estimates say as many as 40%) fall short, landing in the Strip itself and hence endangering the local civilian population. Even if they eventually fall short, missiles fired do however trigger the early warning sirens which give residents of the area fifteen seconds to find cover from the incoming attack and of course for the local population, every sounding of the ‘Colour Red’ siren is a real incident which demands an instant and rapid response at whatever time of night or day. Both aspects of this story – that of the residents of the Gaza Strip endangered and sometimes injured or killed by short-fall missiles and that of residents of southern Israel living with the constant threat of missile attacks – are severely under-reported by the BBC...BBC audiences have been kept in the dark with regard to 80% of terror attacks from the Gaza Strip by missile fire alone during the last four weeks.  
The entire BBC Watch analysis ought to get the widest analysis. How else can the news be understood without taking into account the failures and mischief of many of those doing the reporting?

If you're not already familiar with BBC Watch and the importance of its fine work, here is what they say about the BBC and its astonishingly broad influence:
The BBC is the largest and hence one of the most influential broadcasting organisations in the world today, with weekly audiences of some 225 million abroad and  97% of the population of the United Kingdom. The BBC enjoys a high level of public funding for several of its many operations via the licence fee paid by British residents... Operating under the terms of a Royal Charter renewable every decade, the constitution and mission of the BBC are clearly defined, as is the mechanism for feedback from its funders – the licence fee payers (see the section entitled ‘Get Involved‘). The concurrent document known as the Agreement between the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the BBC defines its role in more detail and includes the following clause (emphasis added): “In developing (and reviewing) the purpose remit for sustaining citizenship and civil society, the [BBC] Trust must, amongst other things, seek to ensure that the BBC gives information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.”In other words, in contrast to many if not most media organisations, the BBC is legally bound to the production of accurate and impartial content. The themes of accuracy and impartiality are frequently cited by representatives of the BBC as reasons for its reputation and broad outreach.
It may sound presumptuous for us non-Brits to be lecturing British taxpayers. But, at the end of the day, it's their money and their national honour that are manipulated by tendentious, ideologically-driven decisions taken hour by hour, day by day at BBC headquarters. Since there will never be any reason to expect the mandarins of the BBC to own up to this themselves, and certainly not as long as Christopher Patten remains in the driver's seat, the bad state of affairs demands that ordinary people find ways to express their fury at this abuse of ordinary Britons' money and of British law.

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