Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Sky statement in full: Gaza appeal

Sky News has informed the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) that it does not intend to broadcast the proposed appeal for Gaza.

Commenting on the decision, John Ryley, Head of Sky News, said: "The conflict in Gaza forms part of one of the most challenging and contentious stories for any news organisation to cover.

"Our commitment as journalists is to cover all sides of that story with uncompromising objectivity.

"We have provided, and we will continue to provide, extensive coverage from Gaza and from the wider region on the conflict and its human consequences for people on both sides.

"Our team is on the ground in the region and will continue to cover the story the coming days and weeks.

"The absolute impartiality of our output is fundamental to Sky News and its journalism.

"That is why, after very careful consideration, we have concluded that broadcasting an appeal for Gaza at this time is incompatible with our role in providing balanced and objective reporting of this continuing situation to our audiences in the UK and around the world.

"It is important to state that this decision is not a judgment on the good intentions of the appeal.

Human suffering

"No one could fail to be touched by the human suffering on both sides of the conflict, which has been the focus of much of our own reporting in the region.

"However, the nature of an appeal is that it sets out to provoke a specific response from the viewer.

"We don't believe that broadcasting such an appeal on Sky News can be combined with the balance and context that impartial journalism aims to bring to the highly charged and continuing conflict in Gaza.

"Unlike some other UK broadcasters, Sky News is widely viewed across the Middle East.

"In order to continue to serve all our audiences, we must ensure that our journalists can continue to operate effectively in difficult conditions.

"This must remain the first priority for any news organisation."



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