Between January 1st and March 31st 2016, seventy-four reports relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page. Some of those reports were produced by other departments (e.g. BBC Technology, BBC Monitoring) or appeared on other pages of the website (e.g. ‘Europe’) but were also posted on the Middle East page.
27% of those articles related to the wave of terror attacks against Israelis which began in the autumn of 2015 and continued during the first quarter of 2016, albeit with lower intensity. As readers can see for themselves, not one of those headlines made use of the term ‘terror’ and that editorial policy is similarly apparent in the reports themselves.
(The dates in brackets represent the period of time in which each report was available to visitors to the website’s Middle East page.)
Tel Aviv shooting: Netanyahu warns Israeli Arabs (2/1/16 to 4/1/16)
Four Palestinian attackers killed by Israeli troops (8/1/16 to 9/1/16) (discussed here)
Tel Aviv shooting suspect killed in northern Israel (8/1/16 to 9/1/16) (discussed here)
Israel: Soldiers shoot dead two Palestinians attackers (9/1/16 to 11/1/16) (discussed here)
Israeli woman stabbed to death in Otniel settlement house (17/1/16 to 18/1/16) (discussed here)
Palestinian workers banned from West Bank settlements (19/1/16 to 20/1/16) (discussed here)
West Bank girl shot dead after trying to stab guard (23/1/16 to 24/1/16)
Israeli woman dies of wounds after West Bank stabbing attack (26/1/16) (discussed here)
Israel restricts entry to Ramallah after shooting attack (1/2/16 to 2/2/16) (discussed here)
Israel lifts restrictions on entry to Ramallah (2/2/16 to 3/2/16)
Jerusalem attack: Israeli border guard dies after shooting (3/2/16 to 5/2/16) (discussed here)
Five Palestinians killed ‘after attacking Israelis’ (14/2/16 to 15/2/16) (discussed here)
Israeli man stabbed to death in West Bank supermarket (18/2/16 to 19/2/16) (discussed here)
Israeli soldier shot dead by ‘friendly fire’ in West Bank attack (24/2/16 to 25/2/16) (discussed here)
Biden criticises failure to denounce Palestinian attacks (9/3/16 to 11/3/16) (discussed here)
Israeli soldier ‘shot wounded Palestinian attacker dead’ (24/3/16 to 25/3/16)
Two articles related to court cases concerning terror attacks by Israelis.
Israelis charged over fatal West Bank family arson attack (3/1/16 to 5/1/16) (discussed here)
Two reports covered attacks on Israelis abroad.
Gunmen open fire on tourist coach at Cairo hotel (7/1/16 to 8/1/16)
Two reports covered additional security issues.
Hezbollah bomb attack targets Israeli border patrol (4/1/16 to 5/1/16) (discussed here)
Israel on alert for attacks by Islamic State fighters in Sinai (29/3/16 to 31/3/16) (discussed here)
In all, 35% of the first quarter reports covered stories relating to security/terrorism which were current at the time. The additional topics found in the BBC’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians during the first quarter of 2016 will be discussed in part two of this post.