September 30, 2022

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How the News We Watch Can Shape The Way We Think: BDSer Jake’s BBC Take (video)

By Daphne Anson


The London Times of 25 July 1994 carried an article by the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson entitled “When reporters act on their consciences”.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy in front of me now, but from memory the springboard for the article was a recent broadcast in which BBC television reporter (later newsreader) George Alagiah abandoned objectivity to advocate for a particular cause, so outraged was he at what he was seeing around him.

Simpson evidently understood and approved, and foreshadowed more instances of the kind.

Nowadays, of course, the intrusion of BBC reporters’ own sympathies and prejudices into their reportage has become, if not commonplace, then certainly a matter for concern, as indeed is the case regarding certain broadcasters on the ABC, Australia’s answer to the ABC, its Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill having before her controversial appointment made no secret of the fact that she considers herself an activist as well as a journalist. 

The following 12-minute video dates to 2014.  It features Jake Lynch, the BDS-happy associate professor who heads the so-called Peace and Conflict Centre at the University of Sydney.  In his discussion of his background as a BBC presenter he refers to how “peace journalism” informed his broadcasts, how he steered interviews in order to incorporate it, how the BBC effectively allowed him to take the line he chose, and how useful a tool it is in shaping audience responses to international conflicts. 

The video provides an insight into former anti-Apartheid (the real apartheid, in South Africa) activist Lynch’s anti-Israel bias and is an indicator of the BBC’s leftist bias, and lack of concern for the objectivity incumbent upon it by its Charter and Producers’ Guidelines.  (The academic Boycott of Israel, incidentally, raises its ugly head at 9.23).


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