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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facts That Matter

10 06 2011

Category; Media, Middle East

Facts are relative to context. No news report can be encyclopaedic enough to encompass every view and every nuance. Broadcast media especially are broad-brush and, at their best, leave an impression rather than swamping the audience with facts.

But news must be anchored in facts, and sometimes it seems the distance to that anchor is so great that the report becomes adrift.

Take the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 on 10th June 2011. Read the rest of this entry »





Buffoonery and state killing

3 04 2011

Category; Media, Middle East

I can understand why people are sometimes scared of clowns. There’s a frightening buffoon appearing in the British media at the moment; Sami Khiyami, the Syrian Ambassador to the UK.

Jeremy Paxman did an excellent job trying to impose a sense of reality on a man who describes his country, in the grip of civil unrest and which has seen more than a hundred of its citizens killed by their own government, as ‘the nicest and most beautiful state in the Middle East‘.

As to the cause of the unrest, it is nothing to do with the authoritarian regime of President Assad, but it may be the work of the Israelis; ‘they could be behind any bad thing in the world‘.

You can watch the interview here:

Paxman handled the surreality of the interview well. His colleagues on the Radio 4’s Today programme did not.

Evan Davis interviewed Khiyami on the Today Programme on 1st April 2011. It is a negligent piece of journalism. In a programme known for combative questioning, Khiyami was handled with kid gloves.

It’s a dreadful interview. Davis even sums up for him, have a listen: Read the rest of this entry »





Sir Sherard and the Throffer

10 02 2011

Category; Media, Middle East

Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO has been discussing Israel and the peace process on BBC Radio 4 (following comments by his former boss, Foreign Secretary WIlliam Hague).

Sir Sherard certainly has experience of the Middle East (click here); until recently the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan he formerly served, amongst other roles, in Cairo, Saudia Arabia, Kabul, and as UK Ambassador to Israel.

His comments on the Today programme –  click here (9/2/11 at c.8:50am) are revealing on the extent of the delegitimisation of Israel. There is a creeping acceptance that Israel does not have an automatic and accepted right to exist and in that sense differs from every other nation on earth. Read the rest of this entry »