Don’t try this at home: BBC driving directions show basic ME geography fail

On February 16th the BBC broadcast and published several reports by Paul Adams on various platforms – all of them telling the story of a Syrian man who received medical treatment in one of Israel’s hospitals.Adams report 1

On the BBC News website’s Middle East page readers found a report titled “Israeli hospital rebuilds injured Syrian man’s face“. On the same page a filmed report – also broadcast on television news programmes – appeared under the headline “Syria war victim given new jaw in Israel” and two additional filmed reports (here and here) were also available. An item on the same topic appeared in the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ (from 17:38 here) and a version of that audio report was also promoted separately on Twitter.

In several of the otherwise largely reasonable reports Adams tells BBC audiences that:

“Syrian patients started arriving in Israel soon after the war began. They’re now a common sight in hospitals like Rambam.”

In fact, whilst the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, it was only almost two years later – at the beginning of 2013 – that the first of the wounded arrived on the Israeli-Syrian border. Since then, thousands of Syrians have been treated in Israel – although the BBC’s coverage of the topic has been sparse (see related articles below) and these are the first reports on the subject since November 2013. That makes it all the more unfortunate that Adams’ extensive reporting did not also inform audiences about other aspects of the story such as the existence of an IDF field hospital in the Golan Heights and the fact that the cost of the treatment for thousands of Syrians there and in civilian hospitals (over 33 million shekels the latter establishments alone as of October 2014) is borne by the Israeli tax-payer.Adams report 2

Adams’ reports all inform audiences that his interviewee was scared when he found himself in Israel and that for all the Syrian patients arriving in Israel “it’s a journey into the unknown”. He does not, however, approach the topic of the Syrian state-sponsored propaganda which was the root cause of their views of Israel before they saw it for themselves.

In the audio report Adams tells listeners:

“Well, if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa, you come to this place: the wind-swept Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

Of course if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa (or even a lot less), you’ll actually end up in the Mediterranean Sea: the Golan Heights are to the east/north-east of Haifa.

Related Articles:

BBC throws mud over repatriation of Syrians

BBC Arabic reports on Syrian patients in Israeli hospitals – but not in Arabic

At last: an accurate and impartial BBC report on Syrian patients in Israel

Northern exposure: what the BBC isn’t reporting about the Israel-Syria border

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4 comments on “Don’t try this at home: BBC driving directions show basic ME geography fail

  1. Of course it’s great that you continue to monitor the failings of the BBC in their reportings on Israel. That said, the people who care about the situation have long since rumbled the Beeb’s bias and are suspicious of everything they put out – whilst the people who don’t care are not interested in the truth.

  2. “…Of course if you drive about an hour and a half west from Haifa (or even a lot less), you’ll actually end up in the Mediterranean Sea: the Golan Heights are to the east/north-east of Haifa….”

    The prophet Duvidl speaks for about the tenth time:

    This idiot’s mind-numbing howling inaccuracy, at BBC TV taxpayers’ £145.50 p.a. expense, will swiftly be excised from the audio record on all platforms without the insertion of a correction or hat-tip to BBC Watch for having to monitor his blather.

    This sort of stealth-editing is a consistent characteristic of the BBC’s biased Isra-hate reporting. Will the directionally impaired Paul be reprimanded, his audio-editor docked a week’s pay like a recalcitrant footballer or an apology delivered by Paul himself to the long-suffering British public by the corrupt BBC? No way Jose, is the prophet Duvidl’s 10th prophecy.

  3. Pingback: BBC’s Paul Adams makes correction to audio report | BBC Watch

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