Wall, barrier, fence… does it really matter?

The BBC has regularly come under fire for bias in its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflicts. But today, in an effort to make transparent its reporting on the Middle East, it has published its style guide on Israel/Palestinian coverage used by its journalists and correspondents. The Beeb explains why certain terms are used when covering ...

606655_Israeltroops5.jpg
606655_Israeltroops5.jpg

The BBC has regularly come under fire for bias in its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflicts. But today, in an effort to make transparent its reporting on the Middle East, it has published its style guide on Israel/Palestinian coverage used by its journalists and correspondents. The Beeb explains why certain terms are used when covering the conflict, and also makes clear why it has taken a position on certain issues. Here's how the BBC explains the use of the word "barrier":

BBC journalists should try to avoid using terminology favoured by one side or another in any dispute. The BBC uses the terms "barrier", "separation barrier" or "West Bank barrier" as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of "security fence" (preferred by the Israeli government) or "apartheid wall" (preferred by the Palestinians).

In all of the BBC's attempts to be neutral, is it actually possible to remain completely unbiased on a matter of such high contention?

The BBC has regularly come under fire for bias in its coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflicts. But today, in an effort to make transparent its reporting on the Middle East, it has published its style guide on Israel/Palestinian coverage used by its journalists and correspondents. The Beeb explains why certain terms are used when covering the conflict, and also makes clear why it has taken a position on certain issues. Here’s how the BBC explains the use of the word “barrier”:

BBC journalists should try to avoid using terminology favoured by one side or another in any dispute. The BBC uses the terms “barrier”, “separation barrier” or “West Bank barrier” as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of “security fence” (preferred by the Israeli government) or “apartheid wall” (preferred by the Palestinians).

In all of the BBC’s attempts to be neutral, is it actually possible to remain completely unbiased on a matter of such high contention?

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