The BBC Trust, which oversees content on the publicly funded broadcaster, has let the BBC program Panorama off with a rap on the knuckles after its August 1, 2010 investigation of the Israeli commando assault on a ship that was part of a flotilla organized by activists attempting to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. During the assault, nine persons were killed. The Trust said that it had looked into 51 complaints from 19 persons who charged that the documentary was a whitewash of the Israeli raid. It dismissed all but three of them. It said that the program should have used autopsy reports that would have given a more complete picture of how the nine activists died and that it should also have included claims from some of those injured by the commandos that they had been mistreated. The Trust further found that the program misrepresented the cargo aboard the ship when it mentioned only "mobility scooters, hospital beds and medicines." In fact, the Trust said, "this was just a tiny proportion of a consignment which had consisted of thousands of tons of aid, including large quantities of much-needed building materials." The Trust apologized for the three "breaches" of impartiality, but nevertheless maintained that overall the program was evenhanded and represented "an original, insightful and well-researched piece of journalism."

20/04/2011