Revisiting the BBC’s policy on naming and personalising victims of terror

Earlier this month the trial of one of the two terrorists who carried out an attack on a Jerusalem bus last October in which three Israelis were murdered and dozens injured came to a close.

“A Jerusalem court on Monday sentenced an East Jerusalem terrorist to three consecutive life sentences and an additional 60 years in prison for killing three people in an attack on a bus in the capital last October.

Last month, Bilal Abu Ghanem was convicted of three counts of murder, seven counts of attempted murder and aiding the enemy in wartime for his role in killing three people in a terror attack on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.”

As readers may recall the BBC News website reported the murders of Chaim Haviv and Alon Govberg but did not name them or provide any other personal details. The death of a third victim of the same bus attack – Richard Lakin – two weeks later did not receive any BBC coverage at all.

In another trial this month:

“A Palestinian man who stabbed two Israelis to death in Tel Aviv last year was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday on two counts of murder and three of attempted murder after confessing to the charges.

Raed Masalmeh, 36, a father of five from the Hebron-area town of Dura in the West Bank, previously pleaded not guilty to murdering Reuven Aviram and Aharon Yesiav in a Tel Aviv office building synagogue on November 19, 2015.”

The BBC News website reported that attack, together with another one on the same day, but once again the victims were not named. There has been no BBC reporting on either of these trials.Istanbul attack victims

After last November’s terror attacks in Paris, the BBC News website produced an article paying tribute to the people murdered and that practice of naming, personalising and humanising victims of terror attacks has since continued.

BBC audiences have learned about victims of the March 2016 attack at Brussels airport and the June 2016 attacks in Orlando and at Istanbul airport. In July 2016 the BBC News website made efforts to personalise victims of terror in Baghdad, in Kabul, in Nice and in Munich. Five policemen killed in a shooting attack in Dallas were the subject of an article titled “Dallas police shootings: Who are the victims?“.

However, for BBC audiences the vast majority of terror victims in Israel remain faceless and in very many cases such as those noted above, even nameless.  

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5 comments on “Revisiting the BBC’s policy on naming and personalising victims of terror

  1. How obvious is @bbc propaganda?
    Israeli terror victims not even named while EU victims heartbreakingly detailed .

    The message is that Israelis are not the BBC’s concern, either not worth it, or not deserving of it.

    When you look at the objects of this disdain, a 13 year old girl sleeping in her bed, or the mother of 4, fostermother of. 2 more, a nurse, murdered defending her children, you begin to get an inkling of who the BBC staff is and how valueless their praise, blame or judgement is.

  2. Today on the Sunday programme, I happened to tune in when a woman was being interviewed about terrorism and she said “you ought not to be frightened if you see someone wearing a headscarf or a kippah…” I did not hear who she was, but the programme is recorded, this could easily have been cut out. She did not add “or someone wearing a cross”.

  3. When the BBC pays tribute to murdered Israeli civilians, it does so only to a select few – as a token to show that it is “news neutral”. Sadly this pretence is taken in by its public who are unsuspecting of the clever propaganda tricks that the BBC deploys.

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