Even when you don’t give your opinions in a newspaper, sometimes your ideas can still be reflected when you report. For example, they can be found through your choice of words, images, subject, headline, quotes; the choices of anything that compose an article reflect a part of your opinion. That is what happened for the BBC concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
In July 2014, the BBC has been accused of taking side with Israel during the conflict because they only reported on them and did not cover the Palestinian side of the story. It wasn’t the first time as they had already received complaints in 2012; Pro Palestinians accused the BBC of forgetting to mention the death of 150 Palestinians and 5 Israelis during the violence in November 2012 as being a result of the blockade of Gaza. However, this year, an open letter, signed by 45, 000 people, was written in which the public denounce a coverage “pro-Israeli” and a news coverage “entirely devoid of context or background”.
For their defense, the BBC said, through a spokesman, “We cover stories based on how newsworthy they are, and what else is happening”. Also the professor Greg Philo, from Glasgow University, said “many times senior journalists at the BBC have told me they simply cannot get the Palestinian viewpoint across”.
I believe that to be objective and fair, the first step would be not to give your opinion, but the second one, which is equally important, would be to cover both side of all stories, to cover every angle. That is the only way that the reader or the viewer would be able to make his own mind and take side; but the journalist cannot do it for him, or if he does, it cannot be called journalism anymore. I can understand that in a situation of conflict or war, obtaining both side of a story can be a hard job, however, I think that to make sure that the public knows that you are not being bias, you have to mention that you have been unable to find any information.
The intention of the BBC weren’t bad, however, as a viewer I can understand that without explanation, we can believe that the journalists are not showing a complete picture of the situation. Without any explanation, they can be considered to minimize the events, to support the Israeli acts, to take side, which then can lead to trust issues between the journalists and the public, because they might think that it will be the case for other cases and stories.