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Edit BBC and SkyTV to remain impartial on 'being humane'

Jonathan Stevenson | 26.01.2009 17:25 | Analysis | Palestine | World

The BBC’s Mike Fudge said “Some viewers think that when there is a major catastrophe, the BBC should help the Aid Agencies in their work to stop civilians suffering and dying – what we might call ‘being humane’.”

“But other viewers disagree, and think that babies with limbs torn off should go through lots and lots of pain, a nasty infection, and death – what we might call ‘being inhumane’ or ‘cruel’. It is not the BBC’s place to judge which of these positions is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.”

He explained: “It is often difficult for news networks to strike a balance between humanity and cruelty. By telling the Aid Agencies to get lost, we ensure that everyone thinks we’re being fair.”

BBC and SkyTV to remain impartial on 'being humane'
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The BBC and SkyTV today announced that they had to remain impartial on whether or not being humane was a good thing.

SkyTV’s Richard Head said “We agree with the BBC. Some think that Oxfam, the Red Cross and Save the Children are interested in helping people not-die. Others see them as anti-Semitic neo-Nazi front-groups. We are in no position to say who is right, one way or the other.”

He added: “If we openly advocate humanity in this situation, those of our viewers who support cruelty may be very upset. Will Oxfam provide counselling for their hurt feelings? Best to stay well out of it, I reckon.”

Jonathan Stevenson