June 25, 2004

BBC and JC agree to agree

The launch of a book by the Glasgow University Media Group seems to have smoked out the BBC's Zionism tsar: Malcolm Balen. The book, "Bad News from Israel", criticises the BBC's pro-Israel bias. The curious thing is that when Malcolm Balen spoke to the Jewish Chronicle about it he criticised the book in very similar terms to the JC's own Geoffrey Alderman. Consider the following:

Malcolm Balen to the JC: "I have never been someone who thinks one can detect bias simply by counting up the number of interviews on TV. There could be 100 interviews with Israeli government spokesmen but they could be quite critical [when?] and hard interviews. [I've got to admit he's funny this guy].....Equally you could say that if there are fewer Palestinian interviews, it's a sign that the BBC isn't asking enough hard questions of the Palestinians, not that it's biased in their favour.[ok so he lost the plot by the end or the journalist did]

Geoffrey Alderman in The Guardian (see link in title above, oh ok here it is again): "It's quality, not quantity that counts. By this I mean that the nub of the matter is what is said about the deaths of Israelis, and what is said about the deaths of Palestinians. Context is everything. A mere word-count [of media coverage] is useless."

So there we have it, the BBC and the JC kiss and make up and it's on the front page of the JC itself. I do love a happy ending! But what's this?

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