Tuesday, May 29, 2007

BBC and the Balen report

By email, Lurker suggests the BBC's efforts to prevent publication of the Balen Report is indicative of the network's anti-Israel bias.

Not necessarily. And here's why:

(1) No one knows what the Balen Report contains. It might say that the BBC did a smash up job reporting on Israel. Or not. No one knows. (I expect the report was critical of the BBC, but not having seen it, who knows?)

(2) The BBC itself commissioned the Balen Report. This tells us that the BBC wanted to identify and correct problems with their Israel reporting. (I think that the BBC deserves thanks and applause for attempting to diagnose and cure a problem - even if the work isn't yet done.)

(3) The BBC might have legitimate businesses reasons for blocking publication of the report. If problems were identified, by the Reportm and subsequently fixed, the BBC might now wish to avoid answering complaints about old, already-addressed issues. Or perhaps, the BBC simply wishes to avoid establishing the precedent of publishing internal reviews and reports. (I don't know British law or custom, but I can't imagine a US company would ever accept being forced to publish a report prepared by an employee or consultant.)

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