When will the BBC get its priorities right?

Covered by the BBC: Today's rally against the violence in Gaza.

Covered by the BBC: Today’s rally against the violence in Gaza.

It seems the BBC is delighted to carry out saturation coverage of popular demonstrations against injustice – as long as they are taking place in a foreign country and not right here in Blighty.

Compare the huge amount of coverage being given to today’s (Saturday) rally for Gaza in London, where “tens of thousands” of protesters have turned out to protest against the deaths of almost 2,000 people since “violence” broke out between the Israeli government and Palestinian Hamas terrorists (as far as VP is concerned, both sides are terrorists) around a month ago (picture above)…

… with the almost nonexistent coverage of a 50,000-strong march and rally against UK Coalition government austerity policies that have killed tens of thousands of people – if not more than 100,000, by now. Think of the Department for Work and Pensions and the 10,600 deaths caused by its policy on Employment and Support Allowance – in less than a year. Here’s a picture of that event, that wasn’t shown by Auntie.

Not covered by the BBC: The anti-austerity rally that attracted as many people - if not more - to complain about austerity measures that have led to at least five times as many deaths.

Not covered by the BBC: The anti-austerity rally that attracted as many people – if not more – to complain about austerity measures that have led to at least five times as many deaths.

It would be wrong to say that the Israel-Gaza protest is not worthy of coverage, because it is.

But when one realises that the BBC – considered the greatest public-service broadcaster in the world – habitually ignores evidence of much greater harm taking place on its own doorstep (literally, in the case of the anti-austerity march – it started outside the main entrance of New Broadcasting House), one is forced to ask very uncomfortable questions about the priorities of its policy-makers and their intentions, in depriving us of vital information about our own country.

Let us hope the BBC receives a large amount of correspondence remarking on this discrimination.

If you want to contact the BBC and ask why it prioritises a foreign conflict that has cost a fraction of the number of lives lost here in the UK due to government policy, here’s how you can do it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

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12 thoughts on “When will the BBC get its priorities right?

  1. kevin fitzmaurice-brown

    Because they are told not to. However perhaps if the people want fair coverage they should protest about the root problem. BBC policy and the license fee. Fair and unbiased are the rules of the license fee. Organise a mighty protest through 38 degrees etc to have the license fee removed as the BBC are in breach of contract. then see if the fairness returns. but of course that is perhaps what the american and Israeli controllers want. Its up to you Channel 4

  2. phillevans

    I honestly don’t think that it is a conspiracy of silence. The BBC has managed to make governments of both sides fizz over the years with its reporting of current events (just look at the way it got around thatchers ludicrous gagging laws over the IRA as one example) I just dont think the problem is one of political control by foreign or domestic powers.

    I think the problem is history and the M25. The BBC pays lip service to anything which affects anyone where there is either no direct relevance to the population of London. In it’s local services it prioritises stories which have a *link* to London in much the same way as some magazines and papers prioritise stories linked to “celebrities”. This is not a new thing and has bedevilled and infuriated those of us who live in the *other* tiny bit of the island for years…

    When it comes to international stories the BBC seems to be acting as the national conscience whilst following the same basic strategy. Stories which are in some way related to British history and actions, especially where we fucked up, are prioritised. For instance the war in Gaza is told from the perspective of Israel because Israel is seen as “ours”, something we created and botched. Not officially, probably not even consciously, but there is little which will affect British establishment arrogance when it comes to Johnny Foreigner.

    This and a reliance upon solipsistic journalism (how often on the news are you watching a journalist talking to a journalist about news which has been reported widely by other journalists? how often do you see a journalist giving you facts and figures that they can verify and would stand up in court as a result of their own journalistic investigation?) backed by inane or insane editorial decisions (Saville & Cyril Smiths depredations are a good example of a story being ignored despite its obvious national interest) have led to the Beeb becoming insipid and trite. They may entertain, but they do not inform.

    The end result of the Beeb’s establishment roots, metropolitan focus and some very very lazy journalistic and editorial work is that they just don’t think that the march against austerity or other DPAC or PAAA actions are important or interesting. Nor is the geographically sporadic death of poor and/or disabled people. They have a dim view of the public (we didnt go to the right schools etc etc) and play to their limited perception of us.

    Of course, NO government is going to upset this sleeping bear by improving its standards.

  3. kathbhanmisty

    I agree the blackout against austerity protests is total. But lets not divide amongst ourselves, the better to be ruled by those who wish to harden hearts against all human suffering.I was able to be at least the beginning of the huge demo for Palestine today. The BBC couldnt ignore these numbers but managed to try and give a ‘lesson’ when reporting it on the evening news; saying the demo represented ‘entrenched’ attitudes… because the demo didnt represent the Israeli viewpoint. They did not show the diverse support from multi ethnic communities ( Indians, Christians and a powerful Israeli speaker). The BBC is pure poison, who do they think they are?

    1. John

      To be fair, the BBC did broadcast an interview with two women – one Iranian and one Russian – who were at the Hyde Park rally.
      Whether or not they repeated the interviews – I do not know.
      The coverage on this occasion was a lot better than the coverage last week.
      I guess it is necessary to be persistent, whether one is protesting against welfare benfit cuts or the military assault on Gaza. It is all a learning curve to be climbed.

  4. jeffrey davies

    Tens of thousands of protesters march in London for Gaza yet there were even more in the unions march yet not televised um bbc the government mouth piece

  5. Lynne Ismail

    I have just made a complaint about the above to the BBC. I have noticed that more gets aired on the radio 4 service about welfare policies than ever reaches tv. I think the govt have a stranglehold on the mainstream media because they know that if the truth is ever revealed it will be political suicide. They do not care about a small elite as long as they control the masses. Whenever I try to open peoples eyes to the truth they prefer to spout the usual propoganda. The govt have the same tight control over what they want people to think as the church did in previous centuries. It is very depressing.

  6. John

    A house divided cannot stand.
    Many of the same people are opposed to killings in the UK or Gaza.
    Opposition to UK benefit cuts and death cuts from flechettes in Gaza are something everyone should support.
    The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) keeps a very close eye on BBC coverage – or lack of coverage – which is their default position where reporting – or not reporting – something that may upset the UK government is concerned.
    I participate in a fair media campaign for the PSC which involves my listening to one of their regular weekly radio programme broadcasts and then reporting back on any bias or problematical content to the PSC. Anti-austerity campaigners should do the same.
    When talking about BBC bias, we – as pro-Palestinian campaigners – have pointed to the utter failure of the BBC to report the anti-austerity march, even though the march started right outside their corporate headquarters. An absolutely ludicrous outcome!
    Pro-Palestinian organsations have previously organised two main events against the bombing of Gaza in London and in other parts of the UK before today’s march and rally.
    They took a leaf out of the anti-austerity campaigners by starting their own march today from outside the BBC headquarters and – this time – the BBC actually reported it and not just on their BBC London web page as they did previously.
    I believe they are picking up on this particular issue because they have become aware – through opinion polling and the Warsi resignation – that the attacks against Gaza have gained high and wide public attention. They simply can no longer ignore it as an issue.
    If the anti-austerity campaigners want to achieve greater public prominence, they should collabarate more and target the BBC complaint procedures, as you have suggested.
    One final point to bear in mind is that the BBC will – I believe – have to talk to the next government about possible changes to their charter, management structure and the licence fee. It may be they are a little skittish about rocking the government’s boat?
    That does not excuse or condone their failure adequately to cover the anti-austerity march but it may help to explain it and provide a perspective from which to refocus the strategy of anti-austerity campaigners. As a state pensioner, I hope they find this useful.

  7. Mr.Angry

    Clearly this so called government have to control the BBC as any real exposure of their back door genocide against their own people could have dire consequences. No criminal would want his/her wrong doings exposed as they would be answerable to the law and they know they don’t have enough months left to introduce new legislation to cover their backs.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Are you sure? They managed the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act in a matter of weeks.

  8. Barry

    The same as they did not have anything about the 50,000 plus people who marched to save the Stafford Hospital, although their biased reporting of the julie bailey campaign against it meant they would have to appologise, or the camp outside the hospital from where we are beginning to create a real save the nhs as a whole campaign bringing together campaigners from all over the country, it seems the beeb is just the governments propaganda poodle these days.

  9. aturtle05

    Doesn’t matter if one complains to the BBC, I did when the Anti-Austerity rallies took place and I got a “Thank you for your comment” email and no more!

    This corporation is paid to broadcast to the UK and someone has to make a profit, so it’s obvious the bosses will vote Conservative and report what CCHQ wants. How many former DGs have been made Lords and sit in the Conservative benches?

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