Sky joins BBC in refusing to air Gaza appeal

Both broadcasters cite impartiality of journalistic coverage

LONDON -- Sky News has said it will not broadcast a controversial emergency appeal for aid to Gaza, saying that airing it would threaten the "absolute impartiality" of the broadcaster's coverage of the conflict.

Echoing the sentiments of BBC director general Mark Thompson, Sky News head John Ryley said that broadcasting the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal would be "incompatible" with objective reporting on the humanitarian disaster.

"The absolute impartiality of our output is fundamental to Sky News and its journalism," Ryley said in a statement Monday. "That is why, after very careful consideration, we have concluded that broadcasting an appeal for Gaza at this time is incompatible with our role in providing balanced and objective reporting of this continuing situation to our audiences in the U.K. and around the world."

Thompson has come under sustained political and religious pressure to air the two-minute charity appeal, after Channel 4, ITV and Five said they planned to go ahead with the broadcast.

The DEC is an alliance of major aid charities including the British Red Cross, Christian Aid and Oxfam.