The thing that struck me about the BBC report wasn't the 'between the lines' manipulation, which I agree is so obvious that it will slip past most people, as the fact that for me it neatly encapsulates everything that is wrong with current standards of all agencies, with a few exceptions, reporting on the Middle East and the bigger political debate. As the article headline points out it is the twisting of a story to make the reader have empathy with the aggressor rather than the victim by way of using previous acts as its starting point. Isn't this the behaviour we used to witness as small children, surely as adults we have the powers of reasoning that allow us to judge events which have no back story purely on what we know to be the facts rather than what we think the facts should be? It's like witnessing a marital spat where somebody brings up what happened on a wedding night twenty years ago as some means of justification for an act of violence last night.
I debated the Gaza-Israel 'situation' on BBC boards for most of a decade, until I left the messageboards last May, and you could guarantee that not one attack, not one rocket, not one bomb could be judged in isolation if you dared display any pro-Israeli bias. Any lack of sympathy towards a group of terrorists who use their supporters and their supporters children as human shields in the event of retaliatory rocket attacks by Israel and you were a racist. The pro-Israel lobby were/are just as bad and soon or later the argument will recall the events of 1948 and points about democracy and freedom will be made without fail.
The BBC aren't stupid in respect of this style of reporting in the sense that we know most people only skim articles, whether online or in newspapers, either consciously or sub-consciously we have developed a sixth sense for picking out key points which is why more and more articles are presented with bullet points or highlighted or italicised text. The average length of articles which people are prepared to read is apparently shrinking from 400 words to 250 words and I assume this will decrease as more and more mobile devices are used for newsgathering on the go, the ultimate article could then be along the lines of 'Rocket attack, dead on both sides, Israel's fault." At which point we may as well all join Span in bed with Rachel Riley.
|Rachel Riley - she's from Essex you know|