Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A close look at the BBC exposes its inbuilt bias against the pro-life message

On 25 October I blogged about how "BBC World helps Marie Stopes vs SPUC", following an interview between George Alagiah of BBC World and Anthony McCarthy, SPUC's education and publications manager. SPUC spokespersons are of course well-accustomed to the anti-life bias of the mainstream media, including frequently on the BBC. Yet the intensity of Mr Alagiah's attack suggests something more. Let us look at the part of the BBC for which Mr Alagiah works.

BBC World News is the BBC's overseas television arm, and began life as the BBC World Service Television. BBC World News, BBC World Service (the BBC's government-funded overseas radio arm) and BBC Media Action (formerly named as BBC World Service Trust) are all part of the BBC's Global News Division. Mr Alagiah is both a trustee and a director of BBC Media Action, and is one of the BBC's representatives on BBC Media Action's board. Among its objectives BBC Media Action lists:
"raising public awareness of subjects such as sexual and reproductive health issues."
'Sexual and reproductive health' is a term commonly used by pro-abortion bodies and is interpreted by them as including access to abortion. BBC Media Action, which is both a registered charity and registered company, is entirely "funded by external grants and voluntary contributions." Among the main donors to BBC Media Action are:
  • Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • European Union (EU) 
  • Norwegian government
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
These governments and foundations are the very same bodies which are bankrolling abortion around the world - including funding and working closely with Marie Stopes International.

In July, the Gates Foundation and DFID co-organised the London Summit on Family Planning, which was a jamboree for the worldwide abortion lobby, including Marie Stopes. Sarah Montague, the well-known BBC presenter, hosted one of the summit's sessions. Prior to, during and after the summit, she and other BBC journalists ran news-pieces and published Twitter posts which were thinly-veiled advertorials for the summit and its main participants.

In 2010, BBC World broadcast a news-piece, including a sound-byte from Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, which was entitled:
"Western anti-abortion campaigners' threat to African sex advice"
The blurb for the piece read:
"Western-based anti-abortion campaigners are undermining efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health education in Africa, according to some international agencies. Family planning and abortion are contentious issues in large parts of the continent, where access to reproductive health is far from universal. Zeinab Badawi reports on the challenges facing health workers in Uganda."
It should be noted that Zeinab Badawi is not just a BBC reporter, going about the usual business of a reporter, but is also:
  • a trustee of the BBC Media Action
  • the founder and chair of the Africa Medical Partnership Fund (AfriMed)
  • a former trustee of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
  • a Vice-President of the United Nations Association
  • a member of the Foreign Office Public Diplomacy Strategy Board
  • a board member of the British Council
Finally, returning to George Alagiah, in 2004 he gave an interview to The Messenger of Saint Anthony, a Catholic magazine run by the Franciscan Order. During the interview Mr Alagiah was asked:
"You were brought up a Catholic. On the basis of your personal experience, who is God for you?"
Mr Alagiah replied:
"For me God is a forgiving, understanding, figure. I find that some of the Church’s rules run against that."
Given that:
  • Mr Alagiah allowed his professional standards to drop so markedly in his vehemence towards SPUC’s straightforward position on Marie Stopes (i.e. it quite openly breaks the law on abortion in countries in which it works)
  • he is a trustee of BBC Media Action, which is funded hugely by pro-abortion bodies
I wonder if one of the church rules which, in Mr Alagiah’s view, run against God as a forgiving, understanding, figure, is its rule that:
“that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being ... No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”
John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995, #62

In 2003, Fiorella Nash of SPUC authored a paper entitled "Bias and the BBC: A study of BBC Panorama’s investigation Sex and the Holy City broadcast on 12 October, 2003". I recommend reading this as a detailed expose of how BBC bias works against the pro-life cause.

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