The launch of BBC Watch

Fans of this blog have often asked why we do not monitor British media institutions other than the Guardian for anti-Israel bias – a query to which we have not had an answer. 

Until now.

Recognising the importance of the BBC in shaping world-wide opinion, a new site, BBC Watch, has been launched which will monitor BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East.

BBC Watch – a sister project of CiF Watch with the independent support of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) – will provide comprehensive monitoring of the BBC’s coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to ensure adherence to the BBC’s own editorial guidelines.

A few of the more egregious problems at the BBC will be familiar to many CiF Watch readers:

Inspired by CiF Watch’s success in holding the Guardian accountable, BBC Watch will strive to curb the spread of inaccurate or misleading information and distortions at the BBC by fact-checking and providing relevant historical context and complimentary information .

In the case of an organisation as widely viewed, heard and trusted as the BBC, it is vital that misinformation be corrected before it spreads world-wide.

CiF Watch’s Hadar Sela, Managing Editor of the new BBC Watch site, explained the new site’s mission:

“Two organisations which formerly monitored BBC output – ‘Just Journalism’ and Trevor Asserson’s ‘BBC Watch’ website – have ceased operations in recent years, exacerbating the need for close and regular monitoring of the world’s most influential broadcaster”.  BBC Watch will seek to build upon and develop the work already done by those organisations in order to continue the monitoring of BBC output on the subject of Israel and to examine the broadcaster’s adherence to its legal obligation to produce accurate and impartial reporting as a service to its funding public.”

The BBC’s responsibility, as defined in the Royal Charter, includes the obligation to inform its funders – i.e. the license fee-paying British public.  This obligation is emphasized in the agreement between the BBC and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:

“In developing (and reviewing) the purpose remit for sustaining citizenship and civil society, the [BBC] Trust must, amongst other things, seek to ensure that the BBC gives information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.”

BBC Watch intends to diligently hold the BBC accountable to this standard.

Updates can be received via Twitter @bbcwatch and Facebook at

37 replies »

  1. Reading this has made my day…………………… 🙂

    Now…about that Balen Report………..

    • If CIF is so “inconsequential”, how come you’re reading it? (other than your obsession with demonizing courageous democratic little Israel?)

    • Yes Juan as evertbody knows from the the Guardian, the BBC, the Stormfront and the Electronic Intifada. Some decades ago everybody of your kind knew that the Jews are massacring Christian children for the Passover matzos…

    • How do you explain the likes of Just Journalism folding because of insufficient funding? Clearly the Israeli govt. has not exactly been throwing money at such organisations.

      I’ve never seen any evidence of CiFW getting govt. funding. Where’s yours?

      And even if it did – frankly it wouldn’t really bother me.

  2. Mazaltov Hadar. This is vital.

    Moreover the timing of your launch is perfect given the unforeseen mighty public revulsion about the 53-year Sir Jimmy Saville child abuse scandal and cover-up, with a consequent mounting pressure for the break-up of the BBC.

    Every Director-General from 1959 onwards knew about, and was complicit in his activities and the British public will undoubtedly ensure that this story runs and continues to expose those others who knew and turned a blind eye.

    We will also have the police investigation and BBC internal investigation, announced this week. This time the police know they are on notice to do a proper job and not come up with a “not enough evidence” whitewash, as in 2007. Then there are all those shadowy BBC governors, ex-governors, trustees, news editors and other senior executives now quaking in their retirement villas. Will the police be interviewing them under caution and trawling through the minutes of their meetings with the “Tops of the Pops” programme makers? Will there be any witnesses to the BBC juniors paid to keep under-age girls out of Sir Jimmy’s dressing room?

    What news of BBC policy relating to Israel and anything else will also be unearthed in the minutes of committee meetings, quite apart from the Balen Report? And what Freedom of Information Act documents will now have to be made available to the TV licence-paying public?

    Duvidl is sure BBC Watch will be watching, as he will himself.

    • Duvid

      The Savile affair is tawdry and quite disgusting, but it is news to me that “every DG from 1959 onwards knew about, and was complicit in his activities”. I had not even heard these as allegations (although I admit I haven’t exactly trawled the blogosphere on this topic). May I suggest you refrain from potentially libellous allegations until and unless they are proven?

      More generally, your rush to assume that the entire BBC is complicit in this, including “all those shadowy BBC governors, ex-governors, trustees, news editors and senior executives” is uncomfortably similar to those who rush to blame shadowy cabals of Jews, bankers, Zionists etc whenever any Palestinian faces any sort of mishap.

      I am no fan of the BBC’s record on the Middle East, but I am proud of the Beeb as an organisation, and the very important role it has played and continues to play in bringing information and (in general) impartial news to people and places that otherwise would never hear or see it. I certainly don’t recognise the “mounting pressure for the break-up of the BBC” to which you refer!

      • Hi Labenal.

        Thanks for correcting Duvidl’s incorrect spelling of Jimmy’s surname. You sound worried; a quaker even, but not about those little girls. Are you perchance BBC or ex-BBC like the admittedly complicit Esther Rantzen?

        As Duvidl writes, ex-BBC producer Mrs. Moncur is emptying just one can of worms on Sky News. Duvidl, meanwhile, is awaiting the police investigation into BBC-aided and abetted child abuse. Looks like Freddie Starr is up next. Who could follow?

        See you on BBC Watch.

        • “Duvidl, meanwhile, is awaiting the police investigation”. Good advice to yourself. Perhaps you should take it and not jump to conclusions.

          By the way, I am disgusted about the revelations, have nothing but sympathy for the girls who were his victims and hope that anyone found to have been complicit is dealt with very severely. Sorry if I gave any other impression.

          Also, I am not, and never have been an employee or otherwise associated with the BBC – I am simply a viewer/listener/licence fee payer with his own opinions. Satisfied?

            • Are you saying that this wretched affair involving Savile and others is a “baseless insinuation”? Thought not. So why make a baseless comment?

            • You’re right. I apologise for apologising. On reflection, I find Duvidl’s assumption that, to be a defender of anything at the BBC, I must be a paid employee or in some way complicit with the abuse by one man of little girls, offensive in the extreme, and I demand an apology from Duvidl.

              • Now that you mention it: Duvidl’s accusations are not dissimilar to those of the anti-Israel idiots who claim that people online defending Israel are paid agents of the govt.

          • Duvidl has awaited the investigators all night and, lo, Israel-hater Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC “trustees” has been forced to answer public questions about his personal knowledge of Sir Jimmy’s child abuse on BBC premises. His answer – he thought Sir Jimmy seemed a bit odd.

            Duvidl jumps to the following musical conclusion:

            Bobby’s Silver Truncheon
            To the tune of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
            (Hat tip: The Beatles)

            Milne’s dad Alasdair; Jimmy S need not beware;
            Kept his gob shut tight;
            Never needed a fight with the bobbies,
            No, no, no, no.
            Lordy Patten knew Allegra Stratton
            When she was just a girl;
            Gave her a job with a Biblical fervour.
            Oh, oh, oh, oh oh.
            Suddenly at their luxury dressing rooms
            Knocks come on the door.

            Chorus: Bang, bang, bobby’s silver truncheon biffs the BBC.
            Clang, clang, each cell door goes on each governor’s liberty.

            (repeat with BBC sound effects department banging and clanging)

            DS Al Coda

              • While I would not put Lord Patten in a category of “Israel -hater”, he’s not much of a friend either. Indeed he is anti-pathetic..
                The tone of an article he wrote back in 2009 in the Guardian in which he laments sets the scene. For example he writes:

                “The infrastructure built by European money on the West Bank and in Gaza was systematically trashed by the Israeli Defence Forces in 2002. They were responding to horrific suicide bombings in Israel. Anything that might be seen to provide the sinews of government was destroyed – including the land registry, courts and police stations. This did not obviously advance the prospect of a two-state solution.”

                The point is that while suicide bombings are considered horrific, which they were, it was Palestinian policy, and not israeli action (which he denounces) that brought this disaster about in the first place.

                Later he writes:
                “After the recent assault on Gaza, the collecting tin is once again being passed round. Leaving to one side the controversy over the BBC’s lamentable failure to air the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, on a state and European level we should be generous in giving humanitarian relief. ”

                Not a word about Palestinian rockets…

                The ability to pass over detail and blame israel and praise Palestinians with faint damns is syptomatic and is not likely to bode well when we will see Patten in future, dealing with Israel-Palstine matters in future.

                So Pretzelberg, some evidence is present. You clearly have not researched his attitude.


                  • It’s a case degree and nuance Duvid. If I had to tick one of two boxes “Israel -hater or Israel – lover”, then you’d be right, I would have to call him a hater. But there are in betweens and degrees of dislike for Israel. He’s not someone who froths at the mouth like Gerald Kaufman or George Galloway when Israel is mentioned for example. At the same time, he is stone cold to Israel’s security concerns and whatever it does, and therefore by implication, would not come to Israel’s defence unless it was politically expedient for him to do so. So yes he’s no good and expect more problems if he becomes further involved. The good news so far, is that the ME has not been his subject for most of his career.

                    • Agreed. However, for Israel-lover Duvidl he need not be a Galloway-style mouth-frother to be consumed with hate for the country. His description of Israel’s Gaza blockade as “a failure, immoral, illegal and ineffective” (see above) is four clear lies rolled into one with four different adjectives. Is this not the mark of the true hater?

                      The good news for Duvidl so far is not that Israel is not his specialist subject. It is that until 2016, when the BBC’s charter comes up for reconsideration, he may have his hands full explaining his whereabouts and those of his colleagues and predecessors during Sir Jimmy’s 53 years of frequent child molesting sessions at BBC TV Centre to the boys in blue.

                      As Duvidl writes, it appears various hospital and other institutional mandarins are also beginning to feel hot under the collar.

    • Why do u think the story about Sailed broke so quickly after his death? Now he can’t take the beeb directors with him…

    • a consequent mounting pressure for the break-up of the BBC.

      Yes – from you and half a dozen (if that?) other CiFW posters.


  3. Amazed that there actually is a “standard” to which the BBC is supposedly being held, given how blatantly biased much of their reporting, especially about the Mideast, has been.
    How then do they get away with some of the rubbish they promulgate?

  4. Fantastic news! I am absolutely disgusted with the BBC’s partiality against Israel and the U.S.A.. I’ve been shouting myself hoarse at the radio often, let me know if I can be of any help.

  5. Since media became a political operation, it needs to be checked, its ideas and stances debated and challenged.

    Best of luck to the new baby….!!!

  6. My book tip of the week.

    ” The Left against Zion ”
    edited by Robert S. Wistrich.
    published by Vallentine,Mitchell 1979

    Good read. Kinda takes the social oudda Socialism.