Monday, 16 May 2011

Middle East - Objective Reporting?

Well done to the BBC for its objective reporting of the border clashes in the Middle East on Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning. John Humphrys reported that there was great anger among Palestinians in the Middle East over how Israel reacted when Palestinian demonstrators massed on Israel’s borders yesterday: twelve were shot dead and many more were injured. The demonstrations were timed to mark the 63rd anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel. Some of the demonstrators crossed the border into Israel and some of the demonstrators were throwing stones. We also learned from an interview included in the BBC’s report that Lebanese forces also opened fire.

By comparison, other reports have referred only to Nakba Day with no mention Yom Ha'atzmaut.

This is the Guardian:
Demonstrators commemorating Nakba day, marking the 1948 war in which hundreds of thousands of people became refugees after being forced out of their homes, were met with live gunfire, rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas.
And here is how it should have been done (from The Times):
During protests to mark the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, described by Palestinians as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, unprecedented numbers turned out at the three hostile frontiers in scenes that quickly turned to carnage.

1 comment:

Strawsonian said...

Objectivity and or impartiality in a historical context doesn't mean not being willing to take a side. In the context of a dispute, it means giving all sides their due before reaching a judgement about the rights and wrongs of the situation. But I accept it is difficult to achieve this in newspaper reporting. That's why the separation of fact and comment is so useful. The news report tells you what is happening; the comment pages debate what to think about it.