Journalists accuse BBC of failing to report Israel-Hamas conflict accurately

A photograph taken on October 6, 2022, shows the BBC logo at the entrance of the BBC headquarters at Broadcasting House in central London. — AFP  As Israel continues to bombard the Gaza Strip, disguising its ruthless attacks with claims of destroying Hamas, a group of eight UK-based journalists at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have accused the news organisation of biased reporting of the situation in Gaza.

In a 2,300-word letter sent to Al Jazeera, the journalists accused BBC of not providing an authentic account of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, putting more effort into humanising Israeli victims than Palestinians and omitting crucial historical background from their reporting.

The BBC is also said to be guilty of a “double standard in how civilians are seen”, given that it is “unflinching” in its reporting of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine, according to Al Jazeera.

The anonymous journalists do not plan to send the letter to BBC executives, believing such a move was “unlikely to lead to meaningful discussions.”

At the time of writing, more than 14,500 Palestinians have been martyred by Israeli bombardment, including at least 6,000 children.

“The BBC has failed to accurately tell this story — through omission and lack of critical engagement with Israel’s claims — and it has therefore failed to help the public engage with and understand the human rights abuses unfolding in Gaza,” the letter reads.

“Thousands of Palestinians have been killed since October 7. When will the number be high enough for our editorial stance to change?”

Since October 7, rights groups and hundreds of thousands of protesters worldwide have been outraged by the soaring Palestinian death toll in Gaza and have called for a ceasefire.

Additionally, the war has also divided newsrooms globally, with disagreements over how each side is being portrayed, the level of empathy shown to Israeli and Palestinian victims, and the use of language.

In the letter, the journalists also revealed that across all BBC platforms, terms like “massacre” and “atrocity”, have been reserved “only for Hamas, framing the group as the only instigator and perpetrator of violence in the region. This is inaccurate but aligns with the BBC’s overall coverage”.

The letter continued to read that while the Hamas assault is “appalling and devastating … does not justify the indiscriminate killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians, and the BBC cannot be seen to support — or fail to interrogate — the logic that it does.”

“We are asking the BBC to better reflect and defer to the evidence-based findings of official and unbiased humanitarian organisations.”

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