04 May, 2006
The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict implicitly favors the Israeli side, a study for the BBC's board of governors has concluded. Deaths of Israelis received greater coverage than Palestinian fatalities, while Israelis received more air time on news and current affairs programs. The observations, described as "identifiable shortcomings", surprised BBC News executives, who in the past were accused of anti-Israel coverage. Only "a small percentage of Palestinian fatalities were reported by BBC News", the analysis noted, while "the killing of more than one Israeli by Palestinians either by gun or bomb was reported on nationally broadcast programs". At the same time, the report says that there was to be little BBC reporting of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians in their daily lives and a "failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other side lives under occupation". The inquiry was ordered following a number of complaints, including from the Israeli government, the governors received about the public broadcaster's Middle East coverage.