BBC News – Complain About Biased Reporting On Violence In Venezuela

headerOn April 9th ‘BBC News At 10’ on BBC 1 carried a report on the current situation in Venezuela, which has also been posted online and used elsewhere . You can see the report by clicking on the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04000gc/BBC_News_at_Ten_09_04_2014/ and can be viewed on its own at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-26963258 )

I found the report contained inaccuracies and failed to give a fully balanced view of the situation in Venezuela. There was no mention that the violent protests stemmed from the calls for ‘La Salida’ (‘the ousting’) of the elected Government from extreme right-wing elements of Venezuela’s opposition.

In light of these issues with the report, I have comp pained to the BBC about the report and I would ask you to do the same.

Coverage of the violence in Venezuela in the UK media has been biased and critical of the Government. Newspaper reporting had been unbalanced and VSC has made complaint after complaint. One of the worst has been City A.M. who have ignored my letters as Vice Chair of VSC and my requests for a fair response to the sometimes hysterical letters carried in their pages.

So, it would be helpful if you can complain to the BBC using their online form at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

The programme was BBC 1 News at 10 at 10pm on Wednesday April 9th at 18 minutes and 52 seconds in.

The VSC detailed briefing should give you much of the information you need to write your complaint at: http://www.venezuelasolidarity.co.uk/whatisreallygoingoninvenezuela/

and more recent analyses of the current situation (including of the deaths resulting from the violence) can be found at http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10584

and http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10580

Below for your information is a response one VSC supporter has submitted, which outlines some of the inaccuracies in the report as well as addressing the issue of the omission in the report of the call for ‘La Salida’ being the main spark of the protests.

The BBC Complaints site is around ten steps – but stick with it to highlight the unfairness and bias of the BBC on this matter.

“The report from Wyre Davies in Venezuela on BBC News (10pm, April 9th) contained both inaccuracies and-through the omission of a key point related to the violent protests-did not present a balanced account.

The key omission is that on 22 January, a number of opposition leaders demanded “the ousting” (La Salida) of the elected Government. Leopoldo Lopez, a right-wing politician, said the aim was regime change:”there should be a complete … change in those who are in power… It’s clear now that the problem isn’t just Maduro, it’s all the heads of the public powers who have kidnapped the state“. He added this was only possible by “getting the people into the streets.” This was the spark for violent protests, yet is ignored.

Furthermore, whilst in the midst of a violent scene, the report falsely says “virtually every night” there are such scenes in “virtually every other city across Venezuela.” At its peak, violent incidents were mainly focused in a small number of areas (18 of 335 municipalities.) The Home Secretary said fewer than 2,000 were involved in the violence.

The report also claims “student protests against rising crime” were “brutally quashed by the army.”

There is no evidence of organised Government violence. Far from the impression given, the deaths have not all been of opposition protesters at the hands of state forces.

Opposition barricades have been the principal cause of deaths.

Finally, polls show over 80% oppose these violent protests. The report fails to reflect this”.

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