BBC Apologizes for Failing to Cover Fogel Murders in Israel Appropriately
Mark Thompson, the outgoing director-general of the BBC has apologized for the network’s lack of coverage following the gruesome 2011 murders of the Fogel family in Israel.
“News editors were under a lot of pressure,” he said, referring to the Japanese earthquake and fighting in Libya which was ongoing when 5 members of the Fogel family were killed by Palestinians in their home, in the middle of the night. “Having said that, it was certainly an atrocity which should have been covered across our news bulletins that day.”
Louise Mensch, a Member of Parliament in England, expressed her discontent with the BBC over what she said was insufficient coverage, and a feeling among British Jews and Jews around the world, that “if a settler had entered the home of a Palestinian family, slit the throat of their children, that the BBC would have covered that.”
“The BBC ran the story on Radio 4 and a lead item on the website but they never subsequently touched it in broadcast or on the 24-hour rolling news programme on BBC News 24,” Mensch said at a government hearing. “I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called “Dead Jews is no news” and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was.”
The Jewish Chronicle first reported on this story.
Thompson said his declaration of the global news network’s failure in covering the incident was not indicative of a bias at the media outlet.
“I don’t believe that should be taken as systemic bias,” said Thompson. “We try very, very hard… to reflect suffering on both sides of that conflict. When there has been a humanitarian incident in Gaza, we try to show the effects of rockets in Sderot. But I do want to say, to all our audience including our Jewish and Israeli audiences here and around the world, we do want to make sure we are fair and impartial. We made a mistake in this instance.”
Mensch said she was happy with Thompson’s statements on the matter.
“I was very satisfied with his frank admission, He understood how this had affected the Jewish community.”