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Dear Kamil and list members, I am afraid my message was misread. I was not attacking the average person in the west. I said that I have dealt with this kind of people before, meaning that "imbeciles and ignoramuses" like Sweeney are abundant. What do you call a person who thinks that pipes for oil can be used to "move" water? Isn't Sweeney's program proof that most of those at the BBC share his ignorance? And what kind of impact would such a program have on the "average" perosn in the UK? And when politicians in the highest places believe these fabrications, including the story of the incubators, don't they deserve to be called "imbeciles and ignoramuses"? The average person in the west is brainwashed by the media, which informs him selectively what it wants; he believes the garbage being fed to him, and he is therefore ignorant of facts and truths.... What is the percentage of those who really know about the origins and causes of the Palestinian issue? What is the percentage of those who even know what an Arab and Kurd are? When one has been to the Amiriya Shelter or seen the deaths and suffering in hospitals, the starving people, the misery and poverty, one would not readily find "the sentiment that lurks behind" my words objectionable or out of order. I am enclosing an article from the Guardian that needs no more comment. Hassan ---------------------------------------------- http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4458184,00.html Britons sink into ignorance as TV turns to trivia in third world John Vidal Guardian Wednesday July 10, 2002 The British are becoming increasingly ignorant of how more than 80% of the world lives, thinks and acts because television has abandoned serious examination of developing countries, according to a comprehensive analysis of last year's programming. The research, which covers the year to September 2001, was conducted by the third world and environment broadcasting trust, 3WE, which is funded by Oxfam, Christian Aid, Comic Relief and other leading development charities. It found that there were only four programmes in the whole year on the politics of developing countries and that BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 5 showed no programmes at all in this category during the year. The report also found that the international documentary was now virtually dead and that "reality" TV, holiday "challenges" and docusoaps dominated television coverage of poor countries. "Eighty-five per cent of us get our primary information about the world from television but the space for programmes covering the lives, cultures and politics of the rest of the world is now almost completely closed," said Don Redding of Oxfam. More hours, says the report, were devoted to filming British celebrities and games players in exotic locations than to showing the reality of life for the five billion people in developing countries. Although developing country factual programming rose by 20% in the year, the number of programmes looking at the society, development and environment of developing countries fell dramatically. There were just 10 programmes on British TV in the whole year about conflicts and disasters, and programmes on development, human rights and the environment fell to "unprecedented" low levels with just 6% of all factual international programmes. Earlier research by 3WE showed that non-news and current affairs factual programming fell by almost half on channels 1-4 from 1989 to 1999 and was being shown out of peak hours. It found significant rises in lightweight travel, docusoaps, crime and "cultural programming". Even programmes made in developing countries failed largely to show the world from the point of view of people who lived there. Consumer oriented travel programmes increased to one third of all foreign factual programming in 2000-01, and reality TV programmes such as Survivor, Shipwrecked and Temptation Island grew to more than 10% of all factual international coverage on commercial channels. Wildlife programming fell across all channels by more than 25% in the year. C4 and BBC2, the two channels which have historically shown most serious international documentaries, both heavily cut their output of "harder" categories, switching to "cultural" programmes -the main subjects covered were international clubbing, surfing, popular music and the sex industry. The number of religious and anthropological programmes did not rise. "Harder issue-focused programmes have reduced to unprecedented low levels. Softer, more accessible and entertainment-led formats now dominate. Much of the output puts British people in the foreground," says the report. Following September 11, beyond the period of the research in the report, the authors recorded "many searching examinations" of the state of the world and the division between cultures, but a snapshot survey of February this year found that TV had reverted to shallow formula entertainment and "brochure" shows. One BBC programme was a desert adventure with Ian Wright challenged to survive in the Kalahari. It made no mention of the K'Wa, or bushmen, being evicted from their ancestral areas in what observers term a human rights disaster. The entire February output of about 2,000 hours included just 11 hours of factual programming filmed in poor countries - mostly "soft" subjects. The researchers fall just short of accusing the broadcasters of failing to carry out their responsibilities to cover the wider world, but charge them with being obsessed with trivia, culture and celebrities. They recommend that the BBC2 and ITV1 remits for public broadcasting are reviewed. • The BBC was accused yesterday of "dumbing down" politics coverage by threatening to axe Despatch Box, screened four nights a week at midnight on BBC2, and On The Record, shown on BBC1 at Sunday lunchtimes. A dozen MPs, including three ex-ministers and two select committee chairmen, signed an early day motion seeking a reprieve. Channels' performance BBC1 Showed 240 factual programmes filmed in developing countries, 203 of which were holiday, travel, wildlife or "lightweight" human interest. Nineteen hours of prime time were devoted to wildlife, holiday travel or docusoaps. But it did show a three part series on the state of the planet and a Comic Relief programme on Rwanda. No programme concentrated on the politics. BBC2 Broadcast more factual programmes in the development, environment and human rights categories than all other channels combined. But it cut back this programming to its lowest level in 13 years, especially in the categories of history, politics, conflict and disaster. Three programmes on third world politics. ITV1 Showed developing countries mostly as holiday destinations or as the location for programmes such as Survivor. It showed just 30 hours of peak time factual programming from poor countries in the year - more than half of which was Survivor, and the rest all holiday, wildlife and a docusoap of British people trying sex tourism in Jamaica. No programme on third world politics. C4 Doubled its number of travel programmes and cut severely "harder categories". Ship-wrecked and Temptation Island made up almost 17% of the channel's developing country factual programming. Its cultural programmes more than doubled. One programme on third world politics. C5 Trebled its travel programmes. Sixty-two out of 65 of its developing country factual programmes were wildlife, travel or crime. No programme on third world politics. _________________________________________________________ Become a part of the World's Best and Largest Arab Online community. http://www.maktoob.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk