Eye on the News

US bombs Afghan hospital, and BBC News asks if it can be legal
5 October 2015, BBC News

After the US bombing of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, BBC News have for some reason decided to ask in a headline whether it can be legal to bomb a hospital.

The BBC habitually asks questions such as this when war crimes are committed by allies of the UK government. It is hard to imagine that similar questions would be asked, if, for example, Russia had bombed a hospital.


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BBC Newsnight Discusses Middle East Turmoil; Ignores UK Foreign Policy

The Editors, 3 August 2014

Newsnight on 30 July 2014 covered the ongoing situation in the Middle East and opened with a short film by BBC journalist Mark Urban which discussed 5 reasons that the "Middle East is in Turmoil" (video and full transcript is below). The discourse is worth noting, particularly as it fails to address entire episodes of contemporary history. The film is made for a British audience yet fails to inform viewers about British Foreign Policy which has undeniably influenced recent developments in the Middle East. References are made to the creating of states in the Middle East by European Colonial powers, however more recent history (including the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the bombing of Libya), is all but ignored.

It does not even enter the discussion that UK policy towards Iraq, Libya, Syria and Israel can be partly to blame for today's violence...


Greg Philo on BBC News: 'The Palestinian Perspective is just not there'
16 July 2014 on BBC Today Programme

The BBC Today Programme invited Greg Philo, Professor of Communications and co-author of 'More Bad News from Israel' to discuss the lack of historical context and of the viewpoints of the Palestinians on BBC News coverage of Israel and Palestine. Referring to results from focus groups, Philo notes that 'people do...

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'La Salida' in Context: Media Simplification of Venezuelan Protests
The Editors, 24 February 2014

Since 12 February, student protests in Venezuela have taken place under the banner 'La Salida' ('The Exit'). The protests have received broad media attention in large part due to the social-media focus of organisers, tweeting in English under the Twitter hashtags '#SOSVenezuela' and '#PrayForVenezuela'. Reporting on the protests has, like much of the reporting on Venezuela in recent years, been...

Undermining Dissent: Evan Davis Interviews Glenn Greenwald
The Editors, 8 November 2013

It emerged this week that the decision to detain David Miranda (partner of former Guardian journalist, Glenn Greenwald) under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, as he travelled via Heathrow airport in August, was made on the basis that he was promoting a 'political or ideological cause'. It is claimed that Miranda was carrying encrypted intelligence files, leaked by whistle-blower, Edward...

Attacking Syria: The UK Media and Western Opportunism
The Editors, 28 August 2013

Since the reported chemical attacks in Ghoutta, outside Damascus on Wednesday 21 August, Western government officials have repeatedly attributed blame to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Some of the comments from officials are as follows: UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague: 'We do believe that this is a chemical attack by the Assad regime.' Prime Minister, David Cameron: 'What we've seen in...

Syrian Conflict: Biases on International Involvement in the UK Media
The Editors, 17 June 2013

Barack Obama's decision to further arm the Syrian rebels, which has prompted Iran to respond by sending 4,000 troops to support Bashar Al-Assad , has been met by the BBC's Mark Mardell, currently travelling with Obama, not by high-level alarm at the potential repercussions of the internationalisation of the Syrian conflict, but with seeming sympathy for the 'very hard call'...

UK Media Helps Pave Road to War on Syria
The Editors, 8 May 2013

The Syrian conflict has been accompanied by a distinct media narrative. Within this narrative - which poses a binary division between the forces engaged in the conflict, identifying the players as good (the rebels, who must receive 'our' support) and bad (the government) - the role the West must play is that of potential saviour, whose aim is to cautiously observe...

'Could Prove Useful to Israel': Media Support for Western Arms Deals
The Editors, 23 April 2013

An important job for the representatives of any world power is to fly around the world selling arms to client states. Despite David Cameron's constant rhetoric that countries to have a right to defend themselves (preferably using British-made hardware), it is certainly undeniable that continuous arms sales in no way make the world a more peaceful place. Yet depending on who...

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Glenn Greenwald interviewed by Kirsty Wark

Blog: The Editors, 04 October 2013

The excellent Glenn Greenwald interviewed by Kirsty Wark on BBC Newsnight. Wark firmly joins the ranks of those in the media who prefer to aggressively attack whistle-blowers and journalists seeking to expose abuse of government power, rather than those who abuse their power positions.

Greenwald: 'My view on journalism is that the more people in power abuse that power, the more accountability and transparency they prove that they need through journalism. And so when I see a government like the UK barge into the newsroom of the newspaper with which I work and demand that they destroy their computers - something you would expect to hear in Iran or Russia or China - or when they detain someone they think is working with a journalist under a terrorism law for nine hours and basically acknowledge through the media that they're doing it to be intimidating - that is a government that is attacking press freedom and abusing their power and showing that they need more transparency and that's the role of journalism'.



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