BBC refuses airtime to Gaza Aid Appeal?
Following Israel’s devastating war on Gaza, the population has been left living in a disaster zone. Aid agencies around the world are desperately trying to raise much needed funds to bring some relief to the people of Gaza.
Despite the wide recognition of the dire humanitarian situation, the BBC refused to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), leaving aid agencies with a potential shortfall of millions of pounds in donations. DEC is an umbrella group for 13 aid charities and it launched its appeal on 22 January saying the devastation in Gaza was “so huge British aid agencies were compelled to act”.
This decision by the BBC was then followed by other UK based channels including ITV and Sky, who commented that: “By convention, if all broadcasters do not carry the appeal, then none do. The decision was effectively made for us.”
The BBC has been heavily criticised for its coverage of the Gaza conflict, which many believe was bias towards Israel. A BBC explanation has angered many: “The decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of [a] news story.” By their very nature, war/disaster zones are volatile but that does not negate the need for sending aid.
The DEC’s chief executive, Brendan Gormley, responded by saying: “We are totally apolitical … this appeal is a response to humanitarian principles. The BBC seems to be confusing impartiality with equal airtime.”
Friends of Al-Aqsa urges everyone to contact the BBC and urge them to air the appeal as a matter of urgency.
T: 03700 100 222
Post: BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT