Trust report on the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC's coverage of the events known as the "Arab Spring"

In June 2011 the Trust decided to launch a review into the impartiality of the BBC's coverage of the events known as the "Arab Spring".

The Trust commissioned Edward Mortimer, then Senior Vice President of the Salzburg Global Seminar, former UN Director of Communications and expert in Middle East affairs, to lead the review. The review examined coverage on BBC national TV and radio, online content, and BBC World News (the BBC's commercial international news service) beginning with events in Tunisia in December 2010 and following on with those in many different Arab countries through to the spring of 2012.

As well as the authored report by Edward Mortimer, the review also included content analysis and audience research. The review below includes the Trust conclusions, Edward Mortimer's report and the Executive response. The content analysis and audience research, as well as a list of individuals and organisations consulted during this review, are provided separately.


A correction was made on 25 July 2012 to clarify that Natalia Antelava reported undercover in Yemen, as opposed to Lina Sinjab (who did report from Yemen, but did not do so undercover).

Follow-up report

At the time the review was published, the Trust asked the Executive to report back on progress made. This report was published on 6 August 2013.