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British MP's Condemn Anti-Iranian Media Bias

Source: Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)
At a meeting in the Westminster last night, a cross-party group of British MP's unanimously agreed that the reporting of Iran in the British media "fell well below the standards of objectivity and impartiality" required by print and broadcast codes. The meeting, "A Raw Deal or Fair Comment? Iran and the Western Media", organised by the Westminister Committee on Iran, brought together a range of parliamentarians, peers and interested parties from all political persuasions in the first of a series of roundtable discussions on Iran.
Following the recent media circus that surrounded President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to New York and accusations by many that the Western media are not giving Iran a fair hearing, the discussion will assessed whether the media in Britain are objective in their reporting of Iran or whether the British public are being softened up for military action against Tehran.
Specific cases of alleged media bias were presented including recent examples by journalists Con Coughlin (the Daily Telegraph) and Simon Tisdall (the Guardian) as well as reports on BBC news broadcasts. It was pointed out that a BBC news broadcast on 25th March, during the detention of the British marines in the Shat-el-Arab, described Iran as having “abducted” the 15 British sailors and marines. The BBC also referred to the British service personnel as “hostages” in this, and in subsequent reports. It was agreed that the use of the word “abducted” instead of “captured” and the word “hostages” instead of “detainees” is not an example of linguistic objectivity.
The BBC’s complaints procedure, which promises “transparency, objectivity and accountability” as well as a commitment to making “speedy corrections” where appropriate, also came in for heavy censure.
The meeting unanimously decided that there were grounds for serious concern about media objectivity and it was decided that further actions would be taken. These included communications with media regulators from the Independent Press Complaints Committee and the BBC’s complaints department as well as the Minister of State responsible, James Purnell. Further meetings would be arranged and wider debate encourged.
Parliamentary Roundtable Discussion,
The Attlee Suite,
Palace of Westminster
London, 3rd October, 7pm
Westminster Committee on Iran

... Payvand News - 10/4/07 ... --

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