A group of eight UK-based BBC journalists has accused the media organisation of biased coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict. In a 2,300-word letter sent to Al Jazeera, the journalists, who chose to remain anonymous due to fears of reprisal, outlined their concerns, especially about Palestinian victims.

The concerns include allegations of humanising Israeli victims more than Palestinians.

The journalists argue that the BBC’s coverage exhibits a double standard in how civilian suffering is portrayed. Their concerns revolve around the alleged failure of the BBC to accurately tell the story, omit critical engagement with Israel’s claims, and address human rights abuses in Gaza.

The letter, timed with the escalating crisis in Gaza, reports over 14,500 Palestinians killed, including 6,000 children, by Israeli bombardment. The accusations against the BBC include a failure to provide unbiased coverage and not reflecting evidence-based findings from humanitarian organisations.

BBC journalists further point out that the broadcaster carefully portrays Israeli suffering, providing detailed accounts such as victim names, individual funerals, and interviews with affected families. However, the group criticises the lack of humanising coverage for Palestinian civilians.

They dismiss the excuse of difficulties in accessing Gaza and suggest alternative approaches. The journalists highlight the underutilisation of social media content from journalists in Gaza and the West Bank as a missed opportunity for a more comprehensive and diverse media coverage.

The journalists argue that stories about Palestinians are not consistently sensitively told, especially after the outbreak of war. Apart from a few isolated examples, the group argues that overall coverage lacks consistency in portraying the human side of the Palestinian experience.

The journalists further claim that the BBC doesn’t represent them and appeal to the organisation to ensure equal treatment of all civilians in its coverage.

Language usage in reporting has become a focal point. The BBC journalists claim that the media organisation’s platforms use terms like “massacre” and “atrocity” exclusively for Hamas, framing them as the sole instigator and perpetrator of violence in the region. They argue that this framing is inaccurate but has been the corporation’s overall coverage theme.

The journalists note that the Hamas assault on 7 October is appalling and devastating but does not justify the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians.