Steven Sugar, a solicitor, has been waging a one man war to have disclosed an internal BBC report on whether or not it has been presenting an anti-Israel biased view of events in the Middle East. His plea under the Freedom of Information Act was rejected. The BBC argues the Act does not apply to journalism. In 2004, the BBC commissioned Mr. Balen to conduct an analysis of its Mideast coverage. The BBC has long been charged with displaying an anti-Israel viewpoint, a point exemplified when BBC correspondent Barbara Piett admitted she cried at the death of Yasser Arafat. In2006, however, a study for th BBC governors by Sir Quentin Thomas concluded its coverage favored the Israeli side.
A government funded media source has the responsibility of presenting a broad range of views although it has every right to advocate on issues. Th issue is not lso much as to whether the BBC has been partial so much as to whether or not it has pursued truth in its reporting.
Of course, one can question the ability of a correspondent who cried at the death of an incompetent leader like Arafat who caused so many of his own people to suffer due to his ineptness and incompetence.