Peer complains to BBC over ‘biased’ reporting of Bristol’s David Miller sacking
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Peer complains to BBC over ‘biased’ reporting of Bristol’s David Miller sacking

Baroness Deech criticised the BBC for "inaccurate" reporting of the case after it suggested Miller had been sacked for his stance on Israel.

Prof David Miller
Prof David Miller

Crossbench peer Ruth Deech has complained to the BBC over its “inaccurate” and “biased” reporting of the sacking of Bristol’s Prof David Miller.

Miller was finally sacked by Bristol University last week after a long, drawn-out disciplinary process, sparked after he accused the Jewish Society of being “pawns” of a “violent, racist foreign regime,” and called for an “end to Zionism,” among other comments.

The inflammatory tirade led to Jewish students reporting a surge in abuse sent to them as a result of the academic’s comments.

But in reporting the incident, the BBC claimed in a headline that Miller had been fired over comments relating to Israel.

Speaking on the Jewish News podcast, Baroness Deech said: “The headlines that the BBC and other press gave the incident are almost as damaging.

“The BBC reported it as ‘Professor sacked for talking about Israel’. Now that’s very inaccurate and biased because it gives the impression that you can’t talk about Israel and that free speech is under attack.

“And that’s simply not what he was dismissed for, even by the university’s own standards.”

The peer had also made a separate complaint to another media organisation over its media coverage, and was waiting to see the outcome of the BBC complaint, she said.

Miller has reportedly vowed to fight his sacking, and still has an internal right of appeal.

In a statement last week, the university claimed an independent report from an unnamed QC found that his comments were not unlawful, but also said he “did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “The headline was an accurate summary of the decision taken by the university and did not misrepresent the reasons given.”

 

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments