Anatomy of a Complaint…

1 04 2014

Category; Middle East, Media



bbc-1728x800_cGiven the interest in the BBC Trust’s recent upholding of my complaint – see here – I am sharing the documentation for the previous stages of the complaints process.

Here’s a short outline of the different stages you go through; I’ve broken it up into rounds (the BBC term for each stage is in brackets).

If you click on the heading it will take you to the relevant post, with attached documents:

Read the rest of this entry »

BBC Trust Ruling on Kevin Connolly

26 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media


imagesThe BBC Trust has released its ruling on my complaint about a Radio 4 Today Programme report. As already noted the ruling confirms the report was inaccurate and misleading. See page 4 and pages 9 -23.

It is not clear what the BBC will do to ‘remedy’ the breach, nor what Kevin Connolly thinks about it all. His colleague Jeremy Bowen has rejected the last BBC Trust decision against him. It is difficult to see how Connolly can square spending almost three years defending what he considers to have been sterling work to be told by his regulator that it is in fact rotten journalism.


Click on the image to go to the report – or click here

Trust ruling

BBC in Denial

22 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media



It’s not just what’s in the news; it’s also what’s not. The BBC has solidly ignored the speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader denying the Holocaust – reported here by AFP.

Instead they have a positive story on Iranian statements about the prospects for a nuclear deal, with a photograph of the smiling Foreign Minister – see here.
At a time when the well turned-out and permanently smiling Foreign Minister is on an international charm offensive with the new and famously Moderate President, it seems the West (especially Europe) has set the reset button with Iran, like Secretary of State Hilary Clinton did with Russia – see here. With a nuclear capable Iran they need to be careful about which big red button gets pressed.
And the reset with Russia has had something of a setback recently with the annexation of Ukraine – an event that has revealed something that most thinking people thought was impossible; that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin were right about something – see here.
There is a clue in Ayatollah Khamenei’s job title; Supreme Leader. It doesn’t get much more specific than that. And when the Supreme Leader speaks, he should be listened to, even if some people find what he says inconvenient. And we cannot listen if no one at the BBC allows us to hear.

BBC Complaint Upheld

17 03 2014

Category; Middle East, Media

The Times is today reporting that the BBC Trust is to censure Middle East Correspondent Kevin Connolly for a report on the Today programme on Radio 4 in 2011. They have ruled that Connolly’s report was inaccurate and misleading; the ruling is the culmination of my complaint to the BBC almost three years ago.

The BBC Trust has embargoed their report on the complaint (hence my heavy hinting in my last post – click here) but The Times has run the story.

The BBC’s handling of the complaint was characterised by delay at every stage, and when forced to respond they have  responded with intellectual dishonesty. Rather than seeing the complaint as an attempt to ensure accurate and fair reporting they have treated it as a gratuitous attack on the corporation and the correspondent.

Here is a a link to The Times report (it’s behind a paywall unfortunately) – The Times; BBC Trust Ruling

And here is a link to a post with the report itself and the reasons for the complaint – Denry; Facts that Matter

More to follow…

Rogue Editor

14 03 2014

Category; Middle East, media



BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has been lambasting the BBC Trust over its censure of his journalism 5 years ago. It’s interesting timing on Bowen’s part. Why bring it up now?

Does he know something? Is there a timely reason to be trying to undermine the Trust’s rulings? Read the rest of this entry »

News Narratives

19 05 2013

Category; Media

Eric Kitson

A former UKIP Councillor

News is about narratives. You pick your starting point and take it from there. That starting point is both literal and metaphorical; the opening sentence in any decent news report is worth as much as the rest of the report, and the viewpoint of the author, or outlet, moulds facts.

It’s how Fox News and The Guardian manage to shape the same facts in such different ways.

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Disaster and the State

13 05 2013

Category; LawMediaPolitics

© Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty

A terrible industrial disaster in Bangladesh, a building full of workshops collapses leaving more than a thousand dead (click here), and our first reaction in developed economies is to question our responsibilities as consumers and whether we should boycott the western companies who have clothing made there (click here).

It’s an example of the fact we seem to have forgotten what the state is for.

Read the rest of this entry »


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