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Who do you trust to report the Middle East?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:16 UK time, Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Hello. It's clear from the enormous response to yesterday's programme that the Middle East continues to be what you want to talk about. Last night Condoleezza Rice's visit to the region meant that America's role was at the heart of our conversation. Interestingly, what started off as 'should America try to resolve the crisis?' became 'can America resolve the crisis?'.

If you'd like to follow that debate you can listen back to the programme until Monday 30th, and you can read many of your comments on the two blog posts titled 'America and the Middle East'. The debate is continuing, and I'm post your latest comments as I write this.

In the middle of this discussion about America a number of you have raised another issue and it's one we (the BBC) are in the middle of. H. Montrose asks 'Why is the BBC news so one-sided. All we see and hear about are the poor people in Lebanon and the "Israeli aggression". What people seem to forget is that the Arabs started every single war with Israel and lost them all.' Bill too is unhappy. 'This post is both ignorant and racist. But then again, that's what the BBC represents these days.' And Melinda is clearly unimpressed with the verity of much American news. 'It would be great if the US public had a clue how our taxes are spent. The general public listens to the media they are fed.' And if you go beyond this blog you don't have to look to far to find discussion of (and often discontent with) the media's coverage of the crisis. In fact as I write this Matt (a new arrival at WHYS) has just shown me some criticism of BBC News Online and its use of photos.

So tonight at 17GMT we're going to ask who do you trust to tell you about the Middle East crisis? If you'd like to add your view, please post your thoughts here and if you'd like to come on air to talk then mention that in your message and we'll be in touch.

Here are a few sites we've been reading in the office when considering this issue. The Honest Reporting site says it's 'exposing bias, promoting balance', the On The Face blog has been watching Hezbollah's TV station Al-Manar, and the Guardian newspaper addressed the claims and counter-claims between al-Jazeera and the Israeli government.

As with all news stories now, it's not just the mainstream media who are telling us about what's going on. Bloggers are playing a major role. Some, like Lebanon Updates, are trying to collate the latest stories that are being reported, while many others, such as 'an Unsealed Room', offer comment and analysis as well. Of course there are thousands more - please tell us which ones you're reading.

One final thought. There's a very interesting question posed on this blog about when a conflict becomes a war. War isn't a word the BBC is using at the moment to describe the situation. Do you think we should be? Speak to you later.


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