Journalism

Pianist Kissin protests against BBC anti-Israel bias

By Stephen Pollard and Robyn Rosen, December 30, 2009

The Russian-born pianist Evgeny Kissin, who became a British citizen in 2002, has accused the BBC of “slander and bias” against Israel, broadcasting material he describes as “painfully reminiscent of the old Soviet anti-Zionist propaganda”.

Mr Kissin, 38, who until now has not generally been known as politically engaged, has written to the director-general of the BBC, Mark Thompson. According to a close friend of the pianist, he has decided to become “actively involved in exposing and countering the evil propaganda of certain British media and especially the BBC.”

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Paper war launched over 'Bibi's freesheet'

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 30, 2009

Israeli politicians often complain about the power of the media and its pervasive influence. But in recent weeks, some of them have put themselves at the disposal of the local press barons in an attempt to block the new competitor in town.

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BBC uses Charedi picture to illustrate Jews

By Marcus Dysch, October 22, 2009

This is the image which the BBC has been using to illustrate how British Jews cope with grief.

The mocked-up picture ran alongside a feature on the corporation’s website giving practical tips on dealing with bereavement and explaining how different religions conduct funerals.

It was used on the page for months, but has now been replaced with a picture of a candle after the JC asked the corporation to explain why the image had been selected.

A BBC spokesman admitted the scale of its website meant mistakes occur but could offer no further explanation of why the image had been used.

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Italian Jews launch paper for gentiles

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, Rome, October 15, 2009

Italy’s first ever national Jewish newspaper hits the newsstands this month — with a twist.

While other Jewish papers across the world, such as the JC and Germany’s Juedische Allgemeine — on which it is explicitly modelled — are written for the Jewish population, Pagine Ebraiche (Jewish Pages) is being written for non-Jews.

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Dutch cartoon mocks the Holocaust

September 2, 2009

An Arab group which published a cartoon denying the Holocaust may be prosecuted in the Netherlands.

The Dutch public prosecutor’s office said the cartoon insults Jews and is an illegal form of discrimination. It plans to bring charges, one of which may be for "insulting a group and distributing an insulting image".

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BBC backs Jeremy Bowen in bias probe

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

The BBC has confirmed that a trustee who says he has “complete confidence” in Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen will be allowed to chair an investigation into complaints against the correspondent.

Richard Tait, head of the corporation’s Editorial Standards Committee, will lead the case considering allegations of inaccuracy and bias.

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Guardian rejects anti-semitism accusation

By Chloe Markowitz, August 27, 2009

A new website was launched this week with the aim of monitoring antisemitism on the Guardian newspaper’s Comment is Free blog.

CiF Watch will function primarily as a blog which discusses content on Comment is Free that it considers to be anti-Jewish.

The anonymous founder of the New York-based site, who insisted on only being known by the pseudonym “Hawkeye”, said the site aimed “to challenge the mainstream orthodoxy of the extreme left that the Jewish state is a racist endeavour — which is a recurrent theme in Comment is Free”.

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Newspaper blasted over MP article

By Simon Rocker, August 13, 2009

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against the News of the World from Julian Lewis, the Conservative MP for New Forest East.

Dr Lewis, the Shadow Defence Minister with responsibility for the Navy, protested about a report in the paper in March which claimed that he was “hardly” at his constituency home in Hampshire.

Instead, the article suggested, he received a second-home allowance for a London property which was effectively his main home. The report was published at the height of the MPs’ expenses row.

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BBC upholds bias charge against Bowen

By Simon Rocker, April 16, 2009

The BBC has partially upheld complaints of inaccuracy and bias against its Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen in an online article about the Six-Day War. Another complaint over a radio broadcast about an Israeli settlement made by Mr Bowen in January 2008 was also partially upheld.

In respect of the article published on the BBC website in June 2007, the BBC found that the author “should have done more to explain that there were alternative views on the subject which had some weight”.

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Russian army robs JC’s man at gunpoint

By Candice Krieger, August 22, 2008

A JC correspondent has been robbed at gunpoint by a Russian soldier while reporting the war in Georgia.

Israel correspondent Anshel Pfeffer, 35, was forced to abandon the hire car he shared with three other Israeli journalists at a checkpoint in the city of Gori when troops began firing shots in the air.

Their Georgian driver fled and one of them was forced from the car as they ran for cover. The soldier then drove away the car, complete with cameras, as they sought refuge in nearby woods.

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