Bad press, complaints lodged over BBC’s Lions Gate terror attack headline

The egregious headline which appeared on the BBC News website on the evening of October 3rd following the murders of two Israelis and the wounding of two more by a Palestinian terrorist – “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two” – has been the topic of broader media attention (see for example herehere, here and here) as well as the subject of official complaints lodged by the Government Press Office in Jerusalem and the Israeli embassy in London, which have in turn prompted further reports on the story.Pigua Lions Gate art vers 1

“According to a GPO official, Israel expects an official apology from the network, and said the office was considering annulling the press cards of BBC journalists, a decision that if implemented would not allow the network to continue operating in Israel.”

The Israeli website NRG reported that an unofficial BBC response stated that:

“It seems to have been about […] the mistake of a junior editor at the desk ‘and not about a clear agenda’…..”

This of course would not be the first time that the BBC has used the ‘shin gimmel formula’ to deflect criticism concerning its failure to adhere to its own editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality. Similar strategies employed to divert criticism of the frequently seen failure to report terror attacks on Israeli civilians at all include the “very busy news period” and “smaller operation at the weekend” formulae. 

Obviously, BBC editorial guidelines apply to all content produced by the corporation, regardless of whether the person manning the desk at the time happens to be a “junior” employee or not and it is worth recalling that the BBC’s guidelines on reporting War, Terror and Emergencies stress that:

“At such times, when there may be conflicting information and opinions, and with reliable information hard to come by, we need to be scrupulous in applying our principles of accuracy and impartiality.”

So if, perchance, the head of the BBC’s Jerusalem Bureau or his superiors would like to carry out a serious examination of the question of whether “a clear (political) agenda” might have played a role in the creation of that miserable headline, all he has to do is search the archives of this site – particularly under the tag ‘terrorism’.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism – August 2015

BBC News coverage of terrorism – July 2015

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – June 2015 & Q2 2015

A worldwide platform for incitement from BBC Arabic’s Nawal Assad

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9 comments on “Bad press, complaints lodged over BBC’s Lions Gate terror attack headline

  1. I ve written to my MP
    We have a Conservative MP now so I am hoping for a better response than I received from the previous biased Liberal.

  2. If it is beyond the wit of the Israeli press office to unravel and expose the financial connections between the Palestinian press office and the BBC, then Israel should consider closing the BBC office in Jerusalem with an appropriate anouncement proclaiming its institutionalised bias against Israel and Jews.

    • If you decide to expel BBC reporters, you need to expel AP reporters too. I don’t say that there isn’t a very good case for this and it the act might actually highlight institutionalized bias against Israel by both media. But don’t expect support from the other news agencies.

      But then, Israel becomes like Turkey and Putin’s Russia. Apart from China.

      True democracies just don’t do that.

      The best response is forums like this one which archive BBC sins and there’s no reason that other sites should not spring up. (BBC bias in favor of man-made global warming. The way the BBC packs talk show audiences with people not representative of the UK population as a whole. The list is long.). The BBC is on the run in the UK. The bias against Israel is not a major reason for attacks against the BBC. The very high salaries paid to senior BBC employees from the BBC license is, I feel, the main reason.

  3. The party is over. Time to deny outright any and all BBC journal’s card for access to and in Israel.
    BBC have no credibility nor integrity from the get-go.
    Surely Israel can live without a media that has continually brown nosed others for particular reasons of gaining favor…so as to deceitfully undermine the status quo

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