Monday, January 26, 2009

DEC cont'd...

The DEC row rolls on, becoming increasingly bad-tempered in parts. 
There is an interesting line tucked away in Patrick Foster's account in the Times this morning in which it appears correspondence between DEC chief exec Brendan Gormley and the BBC has been leaked. Cui bono?
It says that Gormley wrote to the BBC on the 13 January admitting little of the aid would go to Israel and thus  "this state of affairs would conflict with the BBC's editorial need to be impartial".   
I'm wondering however in what context these words appear because it would seem unlikely to me the DEC would continue to push the BBC for an appeal if they had accepted the BBC would be unlikely to consider one. Particularly in the light of the problems over the 2006 Lebanon appeal that never happened where impartiality was a key issue, mainly because the original idea for the appeal had included Gaza as well.

It's also interesting that Sky has come out late in the day saying it won't run the appeal either.
The appeal itself I think is different to the usual, where different personalities depending on the channel 'front' the appeal. The version I saw on Channel 4 was only footage and no one on screen voicing it.  

It also seems there is no one who hasn't written a piece on this. Interesting stuff from Martin Bell on the crisis of confidence at the BBC -and also Iain Martin in the Telegraph on the truth about covering the Middle East if you are a news organisation.
Re Iain Martin's piece, this is the elephant in the room that Mark Thompson refused to address in his Today interview: the rules are different when it comes to the Middle East. Or as one person said to me 'it seems when it comes to appeals set in politically contentious situations, Africa, there's no problem, Asia be more careful and Middle East - forget it'

(PS It's also worth noting that while there has been a lot of criticism of the BBC publicly from journalists, politicians and humanitarians, a majority of comments on the Times forum appear to support the BBC's stance.)

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