Louise Bagshawe still waiting for BBC to explain Fogel failures

By Jennifer Lipman, March 28, 2011
Hadas Fogel

Hadas Fogel

Louise Bagshawe has received thousands of messages of support for bringing to public attention the BBC’s poor coverage of the Fogel family massacre – but is still yet to hear an explanation from the broadcaster.

Ms Bagshawe, elected Conservative MP for Corby last year, told the JC last week how appalled she was that the brutal murder of five people, including three young children, was recorded by the BBC online only.

It was not mentioned at all on any news bulletins or on the dedicated channel BBC News 24, but the Israeli announcement about settlement construction was covered the following day in much more detail.

Shocked at what she called an “inexcusable” failure on the BBC’s part, Ms Bagshawe, a successful novelist, wrote a comment piece for the Telegraph newspaper detailing her outrage and complained to the BBC.

She was then told by the broadcaster’s senior adviser for public affairs that her query had been passed to Helen Boaden, the BBC’s director of news.

But so far Ms Boaden has not replied and Ms Bagshawe has now written directly to her demanding an explanation.

In her message she noted the BBC’s coverage of the accidental death of two Palestinian teenagers in the Gaza Strip last week on the primetime 10pm news bulletin.

“There is a lack of even-handedness which they should admit,” she said.

Her words have prompted an unprecedented level of response, including hundreds of messages on Twitter, emails from fellow politicians and even a retweet by Harry Potter actor Tom Felton.

The 400 emails and letters she has been sent by constituents have far eclipsed the 50 emails she received during the controversy over the proposed forestry sell-off earlier this year.

Some, including some of the 2,700 comments below the Telegraph article, were antisemitic in tone , but the majority offered support and appreciation.

“I had no idea I would get this response,” she said.

Ms Bagshawe said she was shocked that several days after she raised the issue, it still did not merit a mention on the BBC’s complaints web page.

“I can’t force the BBC to respond,” she said. “But I will ask questions in parliament and detail my correspondence with the BBC in public.

“At the very least they owe me and others who have complained a response. Even if it is a poor one at least then people can judge for themselves.”

Last updated: 4:35pm, March 28 2011