BBC faces pressure to publish suppressed ‘bias’ report after spending thousands trying to keep dossier hidden – Gudstory

Rate this post


Pressure is mounting on the BBC to publish a report over allegations of bias in the broadcaster’s coverage of Israel.

Conservative MPs have demanded that he publish the Ballen report, which was buried after its commission in 2004 following criticism of its refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

The BBC has spent almost £350,000 of license fee payers’ money to fight in the courts to prevent publication of the document.

MP Mike Freer, who previously served as Equalities Minister, accused the BBC of “forgetting the public”.

mark jenkinson

Mark Jenkinson asked why the BBC “spent the last two decades … preventing the Bullen Report from public scrutiny”.


He told the Telegraph: “The BBC is a public broadcaster but they routinely forget the public.

“If licensees, the public, especially the Jewish community, have confidence in the BBC, then they must publish.”

The Conservative MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson, said: “It makes you wonder why the BBC has spent the best part of two decades – and who knows how much license fee cash – on blocking the Ballen report from public scrutiny.

“Maybe the reporting we’ve seen this week gives us a clue about the content.”

The 20,000-word report was written by senior broadcast journalist Malcolm Ballen after examining hundreds of hours of BBC coverage of the Israel–Palestine conflict in 2004.

In 2012, the BBC admitted spending £332,780.47 in legal costs to prevent publication of the report.

He made this admission in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The Supreme Court upheld the BBC’s decision not to publish the report as it fell outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, as the report was kept for journalistic purposes.

The broadcaster is under increasing pressure to describe Hamas as a “terrorist” organization following its latest attacks on Israel last week.

The government defines Hamas as a “single terrorist organization”. But the BBC has consistently referred to it as an “extremist” group, describing the attack as a “terrorist” attack.

The BBC’s editorial guidelines recommend avoiding the use of “emotional” language when reporting on events in the Middle East.

It suggested using words like “militant”, “attacker” or “gunman” instead of “terrorists”.

latest developments:

Listen: Grant Shapps says BBC not describing Hamas as ‘terrorist’ group ‘surprising’

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday morning, attacking towns and military targets in the south of the country.

In response, Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza, declaring a “complete siege” of the area.

Hamas has threatened to kill Israeli hostages if they continue bombing the area without prior warning.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *