BBC Newsspeak – ‘Credible sources’ By William Bowles

29 November 2005

By now it must surely be obvious to pretty well everyone that the BBC’s messing with reality is rife, the twists and turns are tortuous and on-going as anyone following the British State’s Broadcasting Company’s coverage of White Phosphorus will know. The Cat’s Dream Website pretty well blew it apart, so much so that the BBC finally gave up any pretence of trying to defend its position (see the latest MediaLens piece).

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The BBC’s Big White (Phosphorus) Lie By William Bowles

18 November 2005

Finally, the ‘white phosphorus’ obscenity made it into the BBC’s main news, at least for a couple of days before being relegated into the Beeb’s dustbin of ‘allegations’ which of course, at least according the BBC, is where the story belongs. Of course, ‘making it into the news’ is a bit of a misnomer as it took the BBC nearly two weeks for the story to actually ‘break’ into its mainstream news coverage, no doubt because it was us non-entities, the independent news sources that made such a big fuss about it.

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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: 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: Fallujah – The BBC’s Director of News Responds

26 November 2004 — Media Lens

On November 8 and 11 we published two Media Alerts: ‘Legitimising Mass Slaughter in Fallujah’‚ in which we commented on the bias and inhumanity of BBC and ITV News reporting on Fallujah.

These alerts generated a massive response from readers – one of the biggest we have seen – and contributed, we believe, to a short-lived improvement in both BBC and ITV reporting. As a flood of emails was being copied to us, the BBC in particular began paying attention to the plight of civilians in Fallujah in a way that it had conspicuously not done earlier in the week. This could of course have been a coincidence, but we doubt it. We suspect that BBC editors and journalists were shocked by the intensity and extent of public feeling, a suspicion strengthened by a response of unprecedented seriousness from the BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden (see below).

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