Three inaccuracies and an omission in one BBC News sentence

The sentence below is to be found in an article published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on May 8th:accuracy

“In October last year, an Eritrean immigrant was shot and beaten to death by an angry crowd after being mistaken for an Arab militant in the town of Beersheba, prompting concern about mob reactions to people thought to be suspicious.”

Habtom Zerhom was not an “immigrant” but an Eritrean asylum seeker. The investigation into the incident showed that the cause of his death was internal bleeding from a gunshot wound – i.e. he was not “beaten to death” as claimed by the BBC. The incident occurred when Zerhom was mistaken for a second terrorist – not an “Arab militant” – during a terror attack at Be’er Sheva bus station on October 18th 2015 which is completely erased from this portrayal of events.

In addition to those omissions and inaccuracies, the link provided leads to a BBC report from October 2015 which, as has been noted here before, inaccurately represents the victim’s name and age, calling him “Mr Mulu” aged 19.

So much for editorial standards of accuracy.

“You have an implied contract with your audiences. You’re asking them to trust you to check that what you’re saying is true and that your overall account isn’t misleading.”

2 comments on “Three inaccuracies and an omission in one BBC News sentence

  1. The BBC interprets the word “accuracy” in their remit as any report that betrays Israel in a negative light – however much the truth and background facts have to be omitted.

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