Debate Info

Yes, it would be impartial No, it's a humanitarian crisis
Debate Score:31
Total Votes:49
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 Yes, it would be impartial (3)
 No, it's a humanitarian crisis (9)

Debate Creator

xaeon(1093) pic

Are the BBC right to refuse airing Gaza appeal?

The BBC's decision not to air a charity appeal for aid to Gaza has come in for fierce criticism.

Director general Mark Thompson has said by airing the appeal the BBC would risk reducing public confidence in its impartial coverage of the conflict.

Sky News has similarly declined to show the appeal, also citing incompatibility with its objective coverage of the conflict in Gaza.

Politicians have urged a review of the BBC's decision, and a crowd of 2,000 protested outside the BBC's London HQ.



"We worry about being seen to endorse something which could give people the impression that we were backing one side.

We are passionate about defending the BBC's impartiality and we worry with such an emotive and such a political story - the United Nations this morning describing it as a political crisis with humanitarian consequences.

We do want to cover the humanitarian story, we want to cover it in our news programmes where we can put it in context, we can do it in an even, carefully balanced, objective way."


Yes, it would be impartial

Side Score: 15

No, it's a humanitarian crisis

Side Score: 16
hillary12(-3) Banned
1 point

They can do waht ever it wants 2 dew. the people in gaza are nnot important enough to do so.

Side: Yes, it would be impartial
ledhead818(637) Disputed
0 points

I think I just threw up in my mouth. Mind your manners little Hitler.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis
0 points

This is obviously a very difficult judgement call for all broadcasters, but particularly so for the BBC because of the way it is publicly funded. Due to this fact, and that I believe the independence of broadcasters in the UK, I think it is right that broadcasters come to their own judgement.

The BBC rarely broadcasts appeals from a war zone. Some of the more recent conflicts that back this statement up are in Lebanon, the conflict in Georgia, the Chechnyan conflict, etc. Often humanitarian appeals are aired for areas where there is a civil war, like Congo and Rwanda, and of course for natural disasters. But the trouble with broadcasting an appeal from a war zone is that there are two sides to the argument, and the BBC, as probably one of the world's most respected and impartial news sources, has to consider this when deciding whether to air an appeal or not.

There's no denying that what is happening in Gaza, and the impending humanitarian disaster from the fallout of Isreal's barrage, deserves these types of appeals to be made. The most important factor here though is ensuring that the BBC remains impartial, especially as it is publicly funded, not to mention the fact that the appeal has been more widely publicised due to the BBC's decision not to air it.

Regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, which have probably been well aired on this site, I believe that running the Gaza appeal could possibly appear biased towards the cause of Palastinians, and therefore the BBC has made a tough but correct decision.

Side: Yes, it would be impartial

It is a humanitarian crisis, however, if the BBC or any news station carries this charity appeal it could very well be seen as being partial to the cause and very one sided. In this country, the USA, our news stations never affiliate themselves with charity appeals. It is always the non-news stations that handle them and carry such programming to the populous. Although I would be quite certain the Gaza appeal will be carrying news footage I would be equally certain that the BBC and others who have such footage will be contributing it to this cause. The BBC dare not look biased in any way lest they lose the trust of their viewers. This can be aired by another source and it should be.

Side: Yes, it would be impartial
iamdavidh(4871) Disputed
1 point

I believe MSNBC has been running a commercial asking for aid for Israelis affected by the war. Probably the other newstations as well, but I'm not sure.

I guess you could say that it is just a commercial, but they are a newstation, and I certainly haven't seen any commercials asking for aid for Palestine.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis
3 points

I think they should air the Gaza special precisely because it is a humanitarian crisis. Remaining impartial is important but don't you think they could make it clear that the special does not reflect the opinion of the BBC? This is what NPR does and many other objective news reporting agencies.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis

Of course they should air the appeal. Its not about supporting one side or another, its about people being killed and mostly innocent people who do not support the Hamas regime.

ITV and Channel 4 have both agreed to air the appeal and no one has labelled them to support one side over the other.

BBC has a duty to air the appeal to help save lives and stop innocent killings. BBC probably has the most power out of all the British media to make it happen and it is refusing.

Its time for BBc to step up.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis
0 points

To heed my own advice and attempt an impartial argument towards this debate, I'll allow the ever eloquent Tony Benn to speak.

Supporting Evidence: Tony Benn - BBC airing Gaza appeal (
Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis

It's charity for people in need, not support for hamas. I understand objectivity, but when people are dying from lack of essential supplies it's okay to feel bad for fact it's human. If their worried about seeming biased they should just put a little message that says "In no way does this advertisement reflect the views of the BBC network or it's affiliates" or something. No reasonable person would complain about that.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis
0 points

I have to agree with Tony Benn, thanks for the link Xaeon.

I have said in debates before that the BBC is the standard for unbiased reporting, and that it's the only easily accessible news source for Americans that will actually be "fair and balanced."

But I think not covering it is a mistake.

And I'm completely behind Israel in this conflict.

But Humanitarian aid has to be treated by the media as a separate entity from the war itself.

That said though, I believe that the BBC knew this. And why a big deal has been made of not covering the Gaza appeal, was simply a way for the BBC to placate Israel, and still manage to in essence, get the word out on the appeal.

I may be giving them to much credit.

But it's a much smarter news organization than us Americans are used to.

Side: No, it's a humanitarian crisis