Thursday, August 31, 2006

Channel 4’s Thomson supports BBC’s Guerin

A senior BBC person has sent me this regarding the claim that Orla Guerin was being biased in her reporting from Lebanon:

Channel 4’s Thomson supports BBC’s Guerin over bias claim

Some excerpts:-

Channel Four's Alex Thomson has defended BBC reporter Orla Guerin after a comparison of their news reports on the bombing of a Lebanese town led her to be accused of bias. Guerin was accused of giving an inaccurate account of the destruction of Bint Jbail initially by bloggers, and later by the Israeli embassy in London, which said it looked as though "the BBC's report contains selectivity".

Thomson told Press Gazette: "Poor old BBC. As soon as they say anything about Israel they get a lot of flak.

"There is an incredibly organised Zionist lobby out to see bias in the BBC wherever they perceive it"

Speaking to Press Gazette from the Lebanon/Syria border, Thomson said that when analysing the reports, it was important to be aware of the geography of the town.
"What Orla said about the town centre is absolutely 100 per cent true. Orla is an extremely experienced and professional correspondent."

However Thomson said that "because a lot of journalists are lazy" much of the British public hold the inaccurate perception that Lebanon had been completely destroyed. He said that from the parts of Southern Lebanon he had seen, 25 to 30 per cent of the buildings had been destroyed or damaged.

He said that journalists had to genuinely say what they were seeing, which often did not fit with the cliché of "nasty, bullyboy Israel/United States smashing the downtrodden Arabs and Muslims".

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