BBC Today programme complaint upheld

The BBC Trust has upheld a complaint of inaccuracy against Radio 4's Today programme over Israeli settlements.

On the programme of September 27 last year, presenter John Humphrys stated: "At midnight last night, the moratorium on Israelis building new settlements in the West Bank came to an end.

"It had lasted for ten months. What happens now? The question matters enormously because the Palestinians have always said there can be no real peace agreement while the Israelis are, as they see it, seizing their land."

But a listener complained that this was inaccurate because the moratorium had been lifted only for new buildings within existing settlements - but remained in force for new settlements.

The complaint was originally rejected by the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit but upheld on appeal by the Trust's Editorial Standards Committee.

In its ruling published today, the committee said; "This was a topic which particularly demands accuracy and precision in order for the audience to be well-informed. The committee concluded that, given the authority and resources of the Today programme on Radio 4, it was reasonable to expect that its output would be couched in clear and precise language and that the programme had not been in this instance.

But it said there was no evidence that the programme had knowingly misled its audience.

The full decision can be read here.

    Last updated: 2:25pm, July 28 2011