Eye on the News - All Entries

Eye on the News entries 41 to 60 of 77.

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Israel want to attack, but the threat in the media is still Iran

BBC News - 2 November 2011

Benjamin Netenyahy of Israel openly wants to invade Iran, and following testing of Israeli rockets this is reported in western media as entirely normal. Despite the fact that the news page on the BBC website is covering a threat of international aggression from Israel, the article still conveys the idea of Iran as the threat, reiterating the usual rhetoric about nuclear weapon development for which there is no evidence.

Israel and Western powers say Iran has been trying to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

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Replacing "The Chairman of NTC" with "Libyans"

BBC News - 26 October 2011

In the front page of their "Middle East" news page, the BBC website reports with a headline that "Libyans ask NATO to stay longer".

Given that the reality of the story is that the chairman of the unelected NTC in Libya asked NATO to stay, the headline is not representative and gives the impression that it is the Libyan people who have asked for the occupation to continue.

Libyans ask NATO to stay Longer

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Reasons for Venezuela election victories

BBC News - 14 September 2011

Reporting on the date for elections in Venezuela in 2012, the reasons given for Hugo Chavez's "repeated election victories" are cited as "personal charisma" and "promise of revolutionary change". Even though the same article mentions the social programmes which have helped the poor, it is not suggested that this may have led to election victories in the past.

Mr Chavez's personal charisma and promise of revolutionary change have helped him secure repeated election victories since he first won the presidency in 1999.

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Iraq internal violence is used to call for prolonging of US occupation

BBC News - 14 September 2011

A report about violence in Iraq ends by raising a question about whether US should end their occupation. In this and many similar reports, the assumption is made that the military occupation provides the only possibility for ending the violence in Iraq.

Although violence has dropped from its peak in 2006 and 2007, the attacks have prompted concerns about the US completing its withdrawal of troops from the country in December.

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BBC misinterprets Hague quote in website headline

BBC Radio 4 Website - 1 September 2011

During an interview on the Today Show, William Hague was questioned about his demands for democracy in Libya. The Radio 4 website later reported that he was urging "early elections". Hague said no such thing. His comments were:

The important thing is that [the National Transitional Council] do bring about the free inclusive democratic Libya that they are committed to, and that of course is what we want them to do and we will encourage them very strongly to do so.

In the entire interview there is not even a suggestion of "early elections".

Hague urges early Libya elections

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Wasted money on wars: blame the invaded

BBC News - 29 August 2011

Like many reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the recent report about $30bn wasted on wars by the US (which results from an opinion piece in the Washington Post) discusses corruption on the part of the invaded countries, but does not question the integrity or conduct of the invading countries, portraying them instead as working in the best interests of everyone.

US-funded projects in those two countries also risk going to waste because host governments are unable or unwilling to sustain them.

In one case, $300m was poured into a sophisticated power plant in Kabul which the Afghan government will not be able to run, and a programme worth $11.4bn of facilities for the Afghan national security forces is likely to be unsustainable.

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The speed camera debate: refusal to acknowledge costs

The Telegraph - 24 August 2011

In the continued attack on speed cameras, The Telegraph have reported that speed cameras don't cut accidents, and have in some cases led to an increase in casualties. An impression is given, as in many other articles, that speed cameras exist simply to generate money for the state, which is not the case.

What the article does not point out is that speed cameras cost money for the state. A figure of £100m /year is given for fine generation for 6,000 cameras (approx. £17,000/year each - less than the cost of installation). Rather than serving "only to raise millions from motorists", they cost the state money in order to save lives. We know that Oxfordshire council cut speed cameras in 2010 to meet reduced budget requirements.

Speed cameras have failed to cut accidents on many roads and have actually led to a rise in casualties on some routes, official figures show today.

Ministers fear that thousands of cameras have served only to raise millions from motorists, rather than improve safety.

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Police claims not questioned, eye-witness accounts forgotten

BBC News - 12 August 2011

In Peter Jackson's analysis of the rumours behind the riots, he refers to the incident that is said to have initiated the Tottenham riot (the attack of a girl by police). He writes about a girl who "threw a stone" and then was "knocked to the ground by police officers". He then goes on to question whether the girl was attacked by police, but does not at all question whether the girl threw the stone. The sense is created from this analysis that what we hear from eye-witnesses can be 'rumours', but what police say cannot be.

Furthermore, this differentiates largely from the eye-witness account given to BBC News during the Tottenham riot itself.

Witnesses claimed a teenage girl was knocked to the ground by police after she threw a stone at officers - allegations police say they are investigating.

But whether or not a girl was attacked, the rumour quickly spread through the crowd and then on via mobile phones and the internet to the rest of the UK and beyond.

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Getting the desired message across after Spain protests

BBC News - 4 August 2011

Reporting on the protests in Madrid, the headline subtly contradicts what is in the text. The wording of the headline suggests that it was the protesters that clashed with the police, while the text reports eye-witness accounts of the police storming the protest. This is common practice in the reporting of protests, seemingly aiming to demonise the protesters.

[Headline]: Madrid 'indignant' protesters clash with riot police

Witnesses said police charged into a crowd outside the interior ministry.

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Roger Noriega calls for overthrow of Chavez, and then informs BBC analysis article

BBC News - 28 July 2011

In the BBC's analysis of who could succeed Hugo Chavez as President of Venezuela, one of the experts quoted is Roger Noriega, part of the conservative US think tank, American Enterprise Institute. It is worth noting that shortly before this analysis appeared on the BBC website, Noriega wrote an article in the Miami Herald.

His article called for opposition leaders to "jumpstart a transition", while the "ailing dictator [is] off the political stage". His ending suggests a reassurance of US assistance: "If they act urgently, they may even be able to convince slumbering policy makers in Washington to support a Caracas Spring over Chavismo without the charm."

"He [Elias Jaua] is just a sheer placeholder," says Mr Noriega. "He's trusted by the Cubans but he doesn't have any charisma whatsoever".

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Brendan O'Neill brings anti-Semitism into the Hackgate debate

The Telegraph - 25 July 2011

Brendan O'Neill at the Telegraph thinks that the Murdoch scandal is a conspiracy theory, offensively comparing anti-Murdoch sentiment to pre-World War 2 anti-Jew propaganda.

This is pure conspiracy theorising; the nonsense belief that power is something that exists and occurs in hidden corners, over glasses of wine, between people unknown and unknowable to the rest of us. Change the word “Murdoch” to “Jew” and none of this stuff would have looked out of place in some cranky “news” sheet in the 1930s.

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Nick Triggle excuses predicted NHS reform problems

BBC News - 14 July 2011

Nick Triggle at the BBC reports on the NHS being opened up to the market in a very positive way, demonstrating a pro-privatisation bias, despite widespread opposition to the plans from the majority of the general public, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, and the Royal College of GPs.

His analysis goes on to almost excuse the predicted rise in waiting lists and decline in service, by saying "Such problems will probably be blamed on the reforms. But in reality in many cases it will be hard to tell whether the changes have helped or hindered performance."

[Headline]: Analysis: Why the NHS wants to move on

Greater competition and choice, albeit more managed now after the listening exercise, is clearly the way forward.

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UK Uncut still being called 'rioters' despite Met Police contradiction

The Telegraph - 19 July 2011

The Telegraph's reporting on the release of the UK Uncut activists who occupied Fortnum and Mason on March 26th describes the activists as "cuts rioters" who "invaded" the store. Around the time of the event, it was clarified that those in the store were peaceful, while rioters were in the street outside. A chief inspector from the Metropolitan Police referred to the protest as "non-violent and sensible".

Escape for cuts rioters who invaded Fortnum and Mason

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NATO not mentioned when reporting on Libyan rebel's human rights abuses

BBC News - 14 July 2011

Reporting on human rights abuses by the rebels in the Libyan war, the BBC has neglected to mention NATO's involvement anywhere in the article on the subject. After months of reporting on NATO's help for the rebels in the attempt to overthrow Col. Gaddafi, this is a clear example of omitting important information from the story.

[Headline]: Libyan rebels abused civilians: Human Rights Watch

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Anti-union reporting: taking advantage of a tragedy

The Telegraph - 1 July 2011

In what appears to be a low-point in anti-union reporting, the Telegraph use the headline of the story of Sophie Howard, the 13 year old girl killed in Peterborough on Wednesday to blame the teacher's strike. While the strike is of course a factor in the story, mentioning it in the headline does come across as subtly blaming the strike for the death.

13-year-old girl crushed by tree during teacher strike.

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An attempt at impartiality on Israel-Palestine

BBC News - 30 June 2011

Following last year's attack of an aid ship to Gaza, resulting in the deaths of nine activists, condemned by many nations, the BBC will still not lay any blame on the Israeli navy. In this article about the recent sabotage of a flotilla ship, a short discussion of the flotilla killings appears to be very cautious not to take sides.

Last year, nine activists on a Turkish vessel, the Mavi Marmara, were killed in an Israeli raid on an aid flotilla. Each side blamed the other for the violence.

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Attacking the Greeks, calling them 'spoilt'

The Independent - 22 June 2011

As further austerity measures are announced in Greece, the British media's attack on the working class of Greece continues in this article by Sean O'Grady

For many in northern Europe, the rioting in Athens must remind them of a tantrum by a spoilt child.

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Which is worse: killing civilians or spending money to do it?

The Telegraph - 20 June 2011

In an article appearing to question how worthwhile the bombing of Libya is, the Telegraph suggests that Britons are more concerned about the financial cost of the war than the killing of civilians by NATO bombers.

The question many Britons will be asking today is not whether casualties are avoidable, but whether this country’s involvement in the Libyan conflict is worth the massive resources we are deploying to it.

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Can reporting about Libya be at least as upfront as politicians?

BBC News - 15 June 2011

Despite numerous calls from western leaders for the Gaddafi regime to step down, much of the BBC News reporting continues to claim that NATO action is humanitarian intervention (today's example is this article about Gadaffi not being invited to the Olympics.

British troops are part of a NATO mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya aimed at protecting civilians.

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The mayor with green promises calls ecologist's advice 'tripe'

The Telegraph - 12 June 2011

Boris Johnson, upon considering the comments of ecologists about the dangers to habitats of mixing natural water from different parts of the country, writes that it sounds "pretty much like tripe"

They warn that it would be a mistake to mix up water from Wales with water from the Thames, since "the chemical composition of water varies in different parts of the country, and the potential effect on habitat and species would be significant". This sounds pretty much like tripe to me, and I am glad to say that Prof Falconer agrees. The chemical composition of water is H2O, and that is true across Britain.

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