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#286557 - 25th Jan 2009 2:40am Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows
_jase_
Unregistered


ITV, Channel 4 and Five have said they will air a charity appeal for Gaza as the BBC is slammed for refusing to screen it.

The Disasters Emergency Committee appeal hopes to raise millions of pounds for Palestinians suffering after Israel's three-week bombardment of the region by airing the plea on television and radio from Monday.

But the BBC claims that showing the appeal by DEC - which brings together several major aid charities including the British Red Cross, Save the Children and Oxfam - might compromise its impartiality.

In London, thousands of protesters joined a demonstration, while a string of politicians, including senior Government ministers, urged the corporation to reconsider its decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal.

An ITV spokesman said: "After careful consideration, and in consultation with other networks, a common consensus has been reached by the majority of broadcasters and as a result ITV will broadcast a DEC appeal."

And terrestrial television channel Five later announced that it is also joining ITV and Channel 4 in broadcasting the appeal, saying: "Five feels this is an urgent humanitarian situation which transcends politics and has taken the decision to show the Gaza appeal."

But BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons voiced concern that comments made by politicians are coming close to "undue interference" in the BBC's editorial independence.

He said that the judgment on whether the broadcast should be shown was not for the Trust, which oversees the Corporation on behalf of the public, but for the BBC's senior editorial executives, led by director general Mark Thompson.

On Friday night, Mr Thompson rejected a plea from International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander to screen the appeal.

"After consultation with senior News editors, we concluded that to broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully couched, ran the risk of calling into question the public's confidence in the BBC's impartiality in its coverage of the story as a whole," he said.

His argument was dismissed as "completely feeble" by health minister Ben Bradshaw, while Communities Secretary Hazel Blears called on the BBC to review its decision and urged the public to continue donating to the appeal.

Former Labour minister Tony Benn told those who marched in London: "People are dying in Gaza and if the appeal was made they would get the resources they need. It's not about the BBC. Millions of pounds will be raised by an appeal. People who are dying in Gaza would get the materials and supplies they need."

Justice minister Shahid Malik, who was Britain's first Muslim minister, said of the row: "In a flawed attempt to be viewed as impartial, the BBC has managed to achieve the exact opposite.

"This issue is not about contentious notions of impartiality but about the unequivocal reality of human suffering on the ground - ultimately about saving lives and alleviating unnecessary pain.

Sadly, across the globe the BBC's decision will be viewed as one which inflicts still further misery on the beleaguered and suffering people of Gaza. The BBC ought to take the advice of Douglas Alexander, reconsider its decision and do the decent thing.

ITN NEWS

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#287058 - 26th Jan 2009 10:10pm Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: ]
_jase_
Unregistered



Stars vow to shun BBC for refusing to broadcast Gaza appeal

BBC stars today turned on the Corporation’s bosses for refusing to broadcast an emergency appeal for aid in Gaza.

Actress Samantha Morton led a string of celebrities who criticised the BBC’s decision at a London fund raiser for the British aid agency Medical Aid for Palestinians last night.

The 31-year-old Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee said she would never work for the BBC again if the corporation failed to show a charity appeal for money for aid for Gaza.

Morton said she was embarrassed to earn money from a corporation that would take such an 'horrific' and 'disgusting' decision.

Comedian Bill Bailey added that the corporation was showing “moral cowardice” and was “hopelessly out of touch”.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson today defended his ruling not to show the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee, insisting it was not a “mad” one-off decision. He insisted his stance was needed to maintain the impartiality of the Corporation.

He was accused of being “immensely patronising” by BBC Radio 4’s Today presenter John Humphrys, who argued that listeners and viewers would be able to easily distinguish between a charity appeal and a political message.

Mr Humphrys also suggested that the BBC was being “slightly hypocritical” by highlighting the row over the appeal on its News programmes, and on a link on its website, but still not broadcasting it.

Meanwhile, Sky News announced today that it was joining the BBC in refusing to broadcast an emergency appeal for Gaza.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: 'The conflict in Gaza forms part of one of the most challenging and contentious stories for any News organisation to cover.

Our commitment as journalists is to cover all sides of that story with uncompromising objectivity.

The absolute impartiality of our output is fundamental to Sky News and its journalism.

That is why, after very careful consideration, we have concluded that broadcasting an appeal for Gaza at this time is incompatible with our role in providing balanced and objective reporting of this continuing situation to our audiences in the UK and around the world.

THE MAIL

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#287124 - 27th Jan 2009 8:25am Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: ]
Rhobit Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 21st Oct 2008
Posts: 167
Loc: Bidston Hill
The missus and I actually submitted a complaint to the bbc over this, I'd urge everybody here to do the same. Not had a response from em yet though...

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#287154 - 27th Jan 2009 2:02pm Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: Rhobit]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
If its such a big deal, why dont the Celebrities donate Half their wealth to the cause. Im sure theyll be able to "earn" it back within a couple of weeks.
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#287156 - 27th Jan 2009 2:04pm Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: MGCraig]
_jase_
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: AlfaCraig
If its such a big deal, why dont the Celebrities donate Half their wealth to the cause. Im sure theyll be able to "earn" it back within a couple of weeks.


withthat

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#287172 - 27th Jan 2009 3:00pm Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: ]
Sanchez Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
Good point craig, but why dont we donate half of ours, they earned it fair and square, just like us........now why dont MP's and such like the queen give half, theirs was hardly earned fairly......
_________________________
Uncertainty or not knowing causes depression, Im happy because I know I'm going to die one day!

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#287195 - 27th Jan 2009 5:31pm Re: Broadcaster row over Gaza appeal grows [Re: Sanchez]
MGCraig Offline
AlfaHolic
Forum Veteran

Registered: 16th Apr 2006
Posts: 5488
Loc: Spital
If we donated half of our entire wealth, wed struggle to survive. We dont have multi Millions, people are lucky to get £30K a year, and even then they struggle....
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