Stuck In A Lift With John Pilger – ‘News And How To Use It’ by Alan Rusbridger

4 December 2020 — Media Lens

Noticing the way journalists seemed unable to resist commenting on our work, even if it was just to slag us off, Glenn Greenwald tweeted us in 2012:

‘You are really deeper in the heads of the British establishment-serving commentariat than anyone else – congrats.’ (Greenwald, Twitter, 12 September 2012)

If that was true then, our relationship with the commentariat now feels more like a case of out of sight, out of mind. We have been blocked en masse on Twitter, even by loveable liberals like Jeremy Bowen, Jon Snow, Mark Steel (yes, ‘radical’ Mark Steel!), Steve Bell, Frankie Boyle (the less said about that the better) and, of course, Owen Jones and George Monbiot.

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Media Lens: ‘The BBC Has Betrayed Its Own Rules Of Impartiality’: Yemen, Saudi Arabia And The General Election

5 June 2017 — Media Lens 

A key function of BBC propaganda is to present the perspective of ‘the West’ on the wars and conflicts of the world. Thus, in a recent online report, BBC News once again gave prominence to the Pentagon propaganda version of yet more US killings in Yemen. The headline stated:

‘US forces kill seven al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, says Pentagon’

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Media Lens: BBC still Ignoring Evidence of War Crimes in Iraq

24 May 2005 — Media Lens

BBC News Director Helen Boaden Responds

“Professional journalism relies heavily on official sources. Reporters have to talk to the PM’s official spokesperson, the White House press secretary, the business association, the army general. What those people say is news. Their perspectives are automatically legitimate… This is precisely the opposite of what a functioning democracy needs, which is a ruthless accounting of the powers that be.” (Robert McChesney, professor of communications, University of Illinois)

Scores of readers responded to our Media Alert, ‘BBC Silence on Fallujah’ (May 17, 2005), in which we highlighted the evasions of BBC news director Helen Boaden in her Newswatch article at:

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Media Lens: BBC Still Silent on Fallujah

17 May 2005 — Media Lens

The BBC Has Failed To Respond To Doubts About Its Claims On US Atrocities In Iraq

“The truth is replaced by silence, and the silence is a lie.” (Yevgeney Yevtushenko)

Last week, the editors of Media Lens wrote to the BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden, about her failure to respond to public concerns over BBC misreporting from Iraq: Continue reading

Media Lens: Doubt Cast on BBC Claims Regarding Fallujah

18 April 2005 — Media Lens

The BBC has published an online Newswatch article entitled ‘Has the BBC ignored weapons claims?’ (April 14, 2005,

This is in response to a large number of emails generated by our March 30 Media Alert, ‘No Great Way to Die,’ (see under ‘Latest‘,

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Media Lens: “No Great Way to Die” – But the Generals Love Napalm

30 March 2005 — Media Lens

Exchange With the BBC’s Director of News

“These are the stories that will continue to emerge from the rubble of Fallujah for years. No, for generations…”
(Dahr Jamail, independent reporter in Iraq)

Heavily Conditioned Sensitivity

Traditionally, Western journalists give massive emphasis to acts of violence committed by official enemies of the West, while lightly passing over Western responsibility for often far more extreme violence. As Robert Fisk has noted: Continue reading

Media Lens: Email Reveals BBC Contempt For Public Complaints

19 February 2005 — Media Lens

“Oh god mike – do you take care of these sorts of things, or do we ignore them?”

Judy Swallow, presenter of the BBC’s World Service Newshour, sent presumably to a BBC colleague concerning the letter reproduced below, sent by a listener to Ms Swallow about the BBC’s coverage (or lack thereof) of events in Fallujah

In a world of terrible suffering and injustice, many of us cling to the hope that journalists will have the integrity and compassion to report honestly. Above all, this means standing up for the defenceless and crushed against those who would rather we did not know and did not care.

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Media Lens: Priorities of Power – The Real Meaning Of Elections In Iraq

8 February 2005 — Media Lens

Introduction – At The ‘Mainstream’ Fringe

In truth it is quite wrong to describe the corporate media as ‘mainstream’. We wouldn’t describe Flat Earthism as mainstream geology, nor would we describe Mein Kampf as mainstream political philosophy. There isn’t a cultural or philosophical tradition on the planet that takes seriously the idea that truth-telling can be reconciled with greed. The idea that it can be reconciled with the unlimited greed of corporate profit-maximising is too ridiculous even to discuss. Or should be.

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Media Lens: BBC Apology on Iran

26 January 2005 — Media Lens

On January 21, we published a Rapid Response Media Alert, ‘Targeting Iran – The BBC Propaganda Begins,’ in which we noted that the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, James Robbins, had reported that US relations with Iran were “looking very murky because of the nuclear threat”. (BBC1, 13:00 News, January 20, 2005)

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Media Lens: Targeting Iran – The BBC Propaganda Begins

21 January 2005 — Media Lens

Iran – The Last Hurrah

Writing in The New Yorker magazine this month, the renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported US plans for an attack on Iran. A former high-level intelligence official told Hersh:

“This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone. Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah – we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.” (Seymour M. Hersh, ‘The coming wars’‚ The New Yorker, January 17, 2005)

Hersh added:

“In my interviews, I was repeatedly told that the next strategic target was Iran.”

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Media Lens: Protest the BBC on Thursday, December 2 – This is Why. Part 2

1 December 2004 — Media Lens


Tomorrow, December 2, the peace group A Call For Light is organising a peaceful vigil outside the BBC, Bush House, Aldwych, London, between 5:30pm and 7:00pm.

Like the rest of the mainstream media, the BBC did next to nothing to expose the devastating effects of US-UK war and sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq from 1990 onwards. Ahead of last year’s war, the BBC endlessly echoed and channelled UK government propaganda claims, almost never subjecting those claims to serious challenge.

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