Home » Bias in ABC TV news report on Aleppo

Bias in ABC TV news report on Aleppo


The above video shows what is at stake in the war in Syria. It lovingly and respectfully presents Aleppo and its people before some sections of the city were occupied by armed groups.  Note the impromptu dancing of young women in the square near the Citadel (4.44 mins onwards). 


Below: Audio recording of item on ABC TV news (VIC), Friday 29 April, which relates to the alleged bombing of a hospital in rebel-held Aleppo


ABC news reader:  ‘A wave of airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo has destroyed a hospital and claimed dozens of lives, dealing a devastating blow to peace efforts there. The city’s LAST paediatrician is reportedly among those killed. The UN has called for an immediate stop to the violence, amid a desperate appeal to salvage a crumbling truce.  North American correspondent Michael Vincent reports.

Michael Vincent: Misery on the streets of Aleppo. This man shouts, ‘God curse him, directing his anger at the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. More than 50 people were killed in these airstrikes. It is the highest toll for a single day in a week of violence that has cost more than 200 lives.

MFS spokesperson: A fully functioning medical facility in the middle of a war, taking care of the most vulnerable is hit as a result of military action. Our position is of absolute outrage and condemnation of this attack.

Michael Vincent: Outrage echoed in Washington.

US State Dept Spokesperson: These tactics are abhorrent. They are immoral. But unfortunately they are entirely consistent with the actions that we have seen from the Assad regime for quite some time.

Michael Vincent: Russia and the Assad regime have denied responsibility. As the finger pointing continues, it is clear the UN’s brokered truce is falling apart. The UN’s envoy hasn’t given up on peace.

SM: It’s totally possible. And I know that both the Russian Federation and the US are talking.

Michael Vincent: Earlier this week, President Barak Obama announced an additional 250 special operations forces were being sent to Syria.  Now America’s top General is being asked why the US hasn’t taken action against Assad’s forces.

Senator: You agree that we have the capability to take out Assad’s airforce?

US top general: I do Senator.

Senator: Then why have we not done so?

US top general: We have not declared war on the …on the Syrian regime, Senator.

Michael Vincent: The attack on the Aleppo hospital comes a day before the Pentagon is expected to explain the actions it’s taken over a strike by its own forces on a MFS hospital in Afghanistan last year. 16 servicemen have reportedly been disciplined for what was called a ‘tragic mistake’.

Michael Vincent, ABC News, Washington.


Note: US Senator Roger Wicker who seems keen for the US to destroy the Syrian Airforce was the only US senator who refused to acknowledge in a vote in Congress that ‘climate change is real’.


Video footage broadcast with the report on ABC TV news, 29 April 2016, included some taken by Hadi Alabdallah. See below.




NB: ‘Citizen journalist’ Hadi Alabdallah, whose video the ABC used, works with Raed Fares on propaganda for the ‘revolution’, from the town of Kafranabel, in north-west Syria.   According to an article in the New York Times, 4 Dec 2014,  the radio station Raed Fares and Hadi Alabdallah have worked for receives funds indirectly from the US State Department through an American NGO, Spirit of America.  Ref: New York Times, “Radio Free Syria“.


Alabdallah and Fares were both reportedly abducted by Jabat al-Nusra in early January 2016, but soon set free.


Voices not heard on the ABC

Video: Aleppo residents speak-out about suffering from rebels shelling (Eng Sub)


Below is a copy of a complaint submitted to the ABC in response to an ABC radio report, 30 April 2016, about the bombing of the hospital.

Location: VIC

Response Required: Yes

Program: News report 8am

Program Date: 28/04/2016

ABC Service\Network: Radio National

ABC Recipient: Audience & Consumer Affairs

Subject: Lack of Balance in news report on Aleppo


Your Comments: The ABC news reported the claims made by the Syrian Civilian Defence (a body which was set up by a PR company in the US and which works just in areas held by armed groups, including Al-Nusra fighters,i.e. Al-Qaeda in Syria) The claims were in regard to the alleged bombing of a hospital in ‘rebel’ held Aleppo. The ABC report did not include mention of any of the rocket/missile attacks on residential areas in Aleppo by armed groups, nor the resultant deaths of civilians. (Note that this report from abcnews in the US presents a degree of balance in its reporting on the fighting in Aleppo: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/14-killed-fighting-rages-syrias-aleppo-38631666 )


The lack of balance displayed in the ABC news, the bias toward armed groups which include Al-Qaeda in Syria, and the implied lack of concern for ordinary civilians who do not support armed groups, their agenda and their terror would be deeply concerning for ABC audiences. It breaches the ABC Codes of Practice, which are meant to reflect the values and beliefs of Australian citizens and which require balance and impartiality. I am aware of the recent killings of civilians in Aleppo by ‘rebels’ from the twitter account of EdwardeDark, a Syrian based in Aleppo. The information about the killings of ordinary Syrians (like us) is available but is generally being ignored by the ABC while the claims of supporters of terror are favoured. It is irresponsible of the ABC to display bias toward the claims of those that support Al-Qaeda in Syria and the violent overthrow of a secular state and the killing of anyone who does not join their ‘revolution’. ABC news editors and managers must be considering the message this clear bias is giving young Muslim Australians.



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