BBC WS radio listeners told that Nazareth is a ‘Palestinian city’

This is a cross post from BBC Watch.

The October 14th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour‘ included an item (from 38:06 here) that was introduced by presenter Paul Henley as follows:

Henley: “Now a film called ‘Wajib’ by the Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir has been shown at the London film festival. The film is the only Arab entry in competition and follows a father and his estranged son who must come together to hand-deliver his daughter’s wedding invitations to each guest, as is the custom in…in Palestine.”

The BBC Academy’s style guide specifically states that the corporation’s journalists:

“…should not affix the name ‘Palestine’ to Gaza or the West Bank – rather, it is still an aspiration or an historical entity.”

Henley’s choice of words is even more egregious in light of the fact (not clarified to listeners) that the film’s story is based in Nazareth in northern Israel. Nevertheless, listeners heard another reference to ‘Palestine’ just seconds later.

Read the rest of this post here.

7 replies »

  1. ” Nevertheless, listeners heard another reference to ‘Palestine’ just seconds later.”

    Quite right to point this out. If you have guidelines then the most famous and respected media organisation in the world should stick to them.

    In the meantime the US president has publicly attacked Iran whilst Saudi Arabia is committing the “worst genocide since WW2 ” in Yemen. One country in the world has supported him.


    This site is subtitled ” fair and accurate coverage “

    • Actually it’s “Promoting fair and accurate coverage of Israel.” But, of course, you know that.

      “In the meantime the US president has publicly attacked Iran…” Off topic. But there is nothing wrong with calling out Iran. Iran sucks. You should at least know that.

  2. It is a sad state of affairs when journalists working for the BBC, or any other media organisation, neglect to follow the guidelines laid down by their own organisations. Whether it is the sin of omission or commission is immaterial, it is still a sin.

    Modern day media have now revised The Guardian’s famous quote from its former editor to “Comment is free, but facts are expensive. If the facts are inconvenient, ignore them.”

  3. Pro-Tip for Sandra Watfa: By attacking people you don’t know with vitriolic anger, you are, instead, broadcasting to the world how angry you are at yourself. In this case, for being a racist twat. Psych 101.

  4. This film was shown during the London Film Festival and the country of origin was describes as “Palestine” in the festival programme.

    The only film described as being made in Israel was “Foxtrot”.

    P.S. Followers of this site who read French should look at the InfoÉquitable analysis of a disgracefully one-sided “documentary” by the European film-maker who happens to be an Israeli citizen Amos Gitai – The way he promotes B’tselem and Breaking the Silence is shameful and one does not need to be right-wing to recognise this.

    One of his recent films “Free Zone”, starring Natalie Portman and the fiercely anti-Zionist Arab Israeli actress Hiam Abbas (star of the openly anti-Jewish film, Bab el shams (2004) – , occasionally exploited mildly anti-Semitic tropes.