Thursday, 29 January 2009

BBC bans disaster appeal

The Disasters Emergency Committee, made up of a large range of aid charities, has made an appeal to the British public for donations to aid the victims of the fighting in Gaza. Or, to be more accurate, it has tried to. The BBC and Sky television, citing the need for "impartiality" has refused to air it. In the meantime, the people of Gaza die.

Here is the appeal:

I cannot see how this ban can be justified. That people are suffering is undeniable and the appeal does not make any statement of support for Hamas nor does it comdemn Istrael. All it says is that children, women and men who have neither the responsibility for the devastation nor the power to stop it are in desperate need of help.

This help is what the BBC is denying.

Tony Benn, as ever, gets to the heart of the matter.


Gaina said...

I LOVE Tony Benn. He seems to be the only person with a 'set' big enough to tell the truth and get to the crux of most matters these days.

I was reading an article by Dominic Lawson over at 'The Independent' website. I could be reading it all wrong but I get the impression it was more about the impartiality of the charities than make up the DEC. Still, that's not really the BBC's call. When a person is suffering and we can do something about it, we have a right to know how to get our aid to them.

The ultimate irony is that I think this whole furore has probably got the message out about where to send donations faster and to more people than the original broadcast might have.

Paul said...

The irony is that the BBC ban has itself generated a huge amount of publicity for the appeal, much of it on the BBC :)

Livia Indica said...

I guess it goes without saying that these ads aren't running in the U.S. either.

Brian Charles said...

I can see the argument the BBC is making but wonder whether it can be justified when even the IRC and the UN have been talking of possible war crimes. It seems to me in these circumstances that such impartiality cannot be anything but tacit support for the actions of the one major power in the area.

I agree that the irony is that the ban may generate even more funds for the appeal and one side of me, the more paranoid one, wonders whether this may be some sort of Machiavellian manoeuvre by the BBC to support the people of Gaza whilst appearing to do the opposite.

And, no, I am - I regret to say - not surprised that such appeals are not being carried by the US mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

Well the BCC are written by the law presented to the goverment and the queen to always remain as impartial in all news and also its a policy not to show appeals or adverts.
It was refused as it only showed those suffering in Gaza (one side of the whole story) Although it is traggic there are many things in the world that can't always be shown or even go unnoticed by the news/media as whole.

In this case they now have shown parts of the appeal without breaking the law and also they show both sides of the story oftern in the news anyway and you see both sides and all the destruction and many men, women and children suffering in the news reports. So an appeal is always visual just not posed in the 'format' of which was questioned by many and upset many.

Though its now been resloved. x