Where is the line between journalism and campaigning? Does news media need to be unbiased? Is there such a thing as journaistic integrity? Is there a line and should there be one?
Sky News has followed the BBC in announcing it will not broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for aid in Gaza.
By Urmee Khan and Jon Swaine
It joins the Corporation in declining to air a two-minute video clip for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Gaza Crisis Appeal.
John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said: “Our commitment as journalists is to cover all sides of [the] story with uncompromising objectivity.”
The decision came minutes after Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, acknowledged the extent of suffering in Gaza but reaffirmed the corporation’s refusal to broadcast the aid appeal.
Responding to widespread criticism of his decision, Mr Thompson said that while there is “great suffering going on”, to broadcast the appeal would be “out of keeping with the absolutely strict obligations we have to be impartial.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Many aspects of the human side of this are themselves contentious and are being debated – should there be a war crimes process, will international institutions in Gaza be … under Hamas supervision … why did it happen and what’s going to happen.
“This story is best told in the context of journalistic programmes, where assertions can be challenged, where claims can be tested and where everything can be put into a balanced context.