Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009

Papers review BBC Gaza row

The BBC's decision not to broadcast a Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for aid to Gaza has come under scrutiny in the Sunday newspapers and in political blogs.

The Observer says the BBC will be accused of caving in to political pressure if it now airs the appeal, and thus had "manoeuvred itself into controversy where, whatever its next move, it cannot win". Columnist Tim Llewellyn calls it "institutional cowardice".

The Sunday Telegraph says "we do not believe the BBC will compromise its reputation for impartiality by broadcasting the appeal, but it may help the children in Gaza".

The Independent on Sunday describes the BBC's refusal to broadcast as a "mistake" and says "the corporation seems to think it can avoid the charge of bias if it does nothing".

Conservative blogger Iain Dale says "perhaps the BBC thinks it will come under fire from its detractors and those who support Israel. If so, they have misjudged the situation".

Septicisle, a writer on the political blog Liberal Conspiracy, says "the BBC have given in to those just waiting to grasp at the slightest hint of bias before they'd even had a chance to".



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