(As originally published with additional photos, Wed, October 18th 2023, 10:53 PM EDT)
WASHINGTON (TND) — Reporting during a war is never easy but the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, has come under fire for a decision it made and for some of its reporters’ social media activities.
The BBC paid for with British tax money, took six of its Arabic journalists off air while it investigates whether they posted anti-Israeli messages on X, the former Twitter.
The six were accused of breaking journalists’ impartiality rules by tweeting or liking posts supporting the terrorists of Hamas, who started the conflict with coordinated attacks on civilians in southern Israel. There were about 1,300 killed with many more tortured and raped, and still others being held hostage in Gaza.
The posts have been described as comparing Hamas to freedom fighters and describing the attacks as a “morning of hope.”
Information on the employees’ status could not be found on the BBC’s websites or X/Twitter accounts but a spokesperson has been quoted in several news outlets saying:
“We are urgently investigating this matter. We take allegations of breaches of our editorial and social media guidelines with the utmost seriousness, and if and when we find breaches we will act, including taking disciplinary action.”
Meanwhile, the BBC made a controversial decision to not call the people who committed the atrocities terrorists.
World Affairs Editor John Simpson went as far as writing a column on the reason.
It started by noting criticism from “government ministers, newspaper columnists, ordinary people.”
Then, Simpson wrote why the BBC prefers calling those criminals militants.
”Terrorism is a loaded word, which people use about an outfit they disapprove of morally. It’s simply not the BBC’s job to tell people who to support and who to condemn – who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.”
On the other hand, the U.S. State Department did not mince words. It has designated Hamas a terrorist organization since Oct. 8, 1997.