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[casi] Re: BBC appoints news censor

Does anyone have a working email address for Richard Sambrook?  The one at
which I formerly reached him is non-working. Many thanks. P Glass

----- Original Message -----
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 8:45 PM
Subject: BBC appoints news censor

> With deep sadness I send this from the Telegraph today. pg
> BBC appoints man to monitor 'pro-Arab bias'
> By Tom Leonard, Media Editor
> (Filed: 11/11/2003)
> The BBC has appointed a "Middle East policeman" to oversee its coverage of
> the region amid mounting allegations of anti-Israeli bias.
> Malcolm Balen, a former editor of the Nine O'Clock News, has been
> in an attempt to improve the corporation's reporting of the Middle East
> its relationship with the main political players.
> Mr Balen, who left the BBC three years ago, will work full-time with the
> official title of "senior editorial adviser".
> It is the first time the corporation has made such an appointment.
> say it is a signal that senior executives feel that the Middle East is an
> area over which the BBC needs to take particular care.
> Relations between the corporation and the Israeli government hit a low
> this summer when the latter "withdrew co-operation" in protest at a BBC
> documentary about the country's weapons of mass destruction.
> Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, later barred the BBC from his
> meeting with the British press during a visit to London.
> The BBC has also been the target of Downing Street accusations that it
> a pro-Baghdad line over the Iraq war and that it influenced the Today
> programme's handling of the dossier story that is the subject of the
> Inquiry.
> A BBC spokesman said: "Malcolm is a hugely experienced senior programme
> editor whose appointment will help us on our relations with all parties in
> the region."
> The decision to appoint Mr Balen was taken jointly by Richard Sambrook,
> director of BBC News, and Mark Byford, the head of the World Service. The
> latter's Arabic Service has been singled out by some critics as the most
> anti-Israeli source of the corporation's Middle East output.
> The BBC denied that the appointment amounted to an admission that it had
> "got its coverage wrong" but conceded the corporation was sensitive to
> criticism. He said it was "no longer the case" that the Israelis were
> refusing to co-operate with BBC journalists.
> An accusation frequently levelled against the corporation is that it
> the Arab-Israeli conflict too much from a Palestinian point of view.
> Its reluctance to describe suicide bombers as "terrorists" has proved
> particularly controversial, recently prompting the Simon Wiesenthal Centre
> to pull out of a BBC series about Nazi genocide.
> The corporation faces increasing scrutiny of all areas of its activities
> during the run-up to the renewal of its royal charter in 2006.

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