Monday, 9 February 2009

My open letter to the BBC, on the Gaza appeal...

To BBC Norfolk / BBC East;


I write to you today as a local politician who finds himself in shock and disbelief that the BBC nationally is still refusing to transmit a charity appeal which would have brought much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of ordinary people in Gaza.  The BBC's refusal to show the appeal unfortunately suggests that they are making political judgements when this is surely not their role: leading politicians from all the Parties have expressed opposition to their position on this. 
 
We in the so-called "civilised" world should be doing everything humanly possible to provide the relief and aid the people of Gaza, and their children, so desperately need.  They are living in devastated, inhumane conditions following Israel's prolonged attacks, which killed over 1,300 people, most of whom were civilians, and over 400 of whom were children.  The BBC's denial of support for the professional aid agencies will deny the tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians the millions of pounds in aid that could help make a difference to their plight. When the appeal was broadcast earlier this week on other channels, millions of pounds of donations immediately poured in. Think how much the BBC could help, in this regard: help, to save lives. As it has done before: in Darfur, in Congo, in Vietnam…

To say it again: ITV and Channels 4 and 5 have agreed to broadcast the charity appeal (and have raised handsome sums to help Gazans, by doing so), leaving the BBC fairly isolated. We urge you to put pressure on your colleagues at the BBC nationally to change its position on this matter, and restore public faith in the BBC as public service broadcaster. We beseech you, also, to ask the BBC nationally for permission to air these appeals on BBC East and BBC Radio Norfolk, in lieu for now of them being broadcast nationally.

I thank you for your consideration of this matter. If the BBC does not soon change its stance on this, then I will be urging Director-General Mark Thompson shortly to consider his position. I hope that you, who I know and trust from my contacts with you day-to-day in dealings over local and regional matters, can help the BBC nationally sort out its stance on this, and catch up with public opinion on this issue.

The BBC is worried that its airing of this appeal would compromise its reputation for impartiality. One the contrary: its reputation for impartiality is being seriously undermined, every day that it continues to hold out against broadcasting the appeal. Please help end this sad state of affairs, which with each passing day is costing innocent Palestinian lives.

Faithfully,

Cllr. Rupert Read (Green Party).

2 Comments:

Blogger Mr Andy C said...

Well said Rupert, the BBC's stance is anything but impartial.

I have set up a petition on the Downing Street website calling on the PM to call on the BBC to change its stance (http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/decgaza/)

9 February 2009 at 21:19  
Blogger Rupert said...

thanks andy!
i'll promote your petition too, now!

10 February 2009 at 08:38  

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29.

To BBC Norfolk / BBC East;


I write to you today as a local politician who finds himself in shock and disbelief that the BBC nationally is still refusing to transmit a charity appeal which would have brought much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of ordinary people in Gaza.  The BBC's refusal to show the appeal unfortunately suggests that they are making political judgements when this is surely not their role: leading politicians from all the Parties have expressed opposition to their position on this. 
 
We in the so-called "civilised" world should be doing everything humanly possible to provide the relief and aid the people of Gaza, and their children, so desperately need.  They are living in devastated, inhumane conditions following Israel's prolonged attacks, which killed over 1,300 people, most of whom were civilians, and over 400 of whom were children.  The BBC's denial of support for the professional aid agencies will deny the tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians the millions of pounds in aid that could help make a difference to their plight. When the appeal was broadcast earlier this week on other channels, millions of pounds of donations immediately poured in. Think how much the BBC could help, in this regard: help, to save lives. As it has done before: in Darfur, in Congo, in Vietnam…

To say it again: ITV and Channels 4 and 5 have agreed to broadcast the charity appeal (and have raised handsome sums to help Gazans, by doing so), leaving the BBC fairly isolated. We urge you to put pressure on your colleagues at the BBC nationally to change its position on this matter, and restore public faith in the BBC as public service broadcaster. We beseech you, also, to ask the BBC nationally for permission to air these appeals on BBC East and BBC Radio Norfolk, in lieu for now of them being broadcast nationally.

I thank you for your consideration of this matter. If the BBC does not soon change its stance on this, then I will be urging Director-General Mark Thompson shortly to consider his position. I hope that you, who I know and trust from my contacts with you day-to-day in dealings over local and regional matters, can help the BBC nationally sort out its stance on this, and catch up with public opinion on this issue.

The BBC is worried that its airing of this appeal would compromise its reputation for impartiality. One the contrary: its reputation for impartiality is being seriously undermined, every day that it continues to hold out against broadcasting the appeal. Please help end this sad state of affairs, which with each passing day is costing innocent Palestinian lives.

Faithfully,

Cllr. Rupert Read (Green Party).

30. 31. 32.