Sorry BBC, we don’t all look like this

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

THIS IS the im­age which the BBC has been us­ing to il­lus­trate how Bri­tish Jews cope with grief.

The mocked-up pic­ture ran along­side a fea­ture on the cor­po­ra­tion’s web­site giv­ing prac­ti­cal tips on deal­ing with be­reave­ment and ex­plain­ing how dif­fer­ent re­li­gions con­duct funer­als.

It was used on the page for months, but has now been re­placed with a pic­ture of a can­dle af­ter the JC asked the cor­po­ra­tion to ex­plain why the im­age had been se­lected.

A BBC spokesman ad­mit­ted the scale of its web­site meant mis­takes oc­cur but could of­fer no fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion of why the im­age had been used.

He said the sec­tion of the site was no longer be­ing up­dated and there had been no re­view of its con­tent to check whether it was “ap­pro­pri­ate”.

The Board of Deputies this week alerted the cor­po­ra­tion to its con­cerns over the gen­eral use of im­ages of Jews on the web­site.

In a let­ter to BBC di­rec­tor of news He­len Boaden, Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Jon Ben­jamin wrote: “On a num­ber of oc­ca­sions we have been mys­ti­fied by the BBC’s use of ‘generic pic­tures’ which de­pict only mem­bers of the strictly-Or­tho­dox sects of the com­mu­nity.”

He high­lighted two news sto­ries about main­stream Ju­daism — one a com­mu­nity cul­tural event in Bel- fast and the other the build­ing of the JCoSS cross-com­mu­nal school — which car­ried pic­tures of Charedi men, com­plete with black hats, peyot, and flow­ing beards.

“They in no way il­lus­trate the sub­ject mat­ter of the sto­ries in ques­tion or, in­deed, main­stream Jewish life in the UK or any­where in the world,” added Mr Ben­jamin. The BBC spokesman said: “We al­ways try to use an ap­pro­pri­ate and rel­e­vant im­age and are more than happy to dis­cuss this is­sue with the Board of Deputies to en­sure we re­flect the breadth of the Jewish com­mu­nity.”

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