Misleading headlines for BBC News report on Ankara incident

An incident which took place outside the Israeli embassy in Ankara on September 21st was reported on the BBC News website in an article which carried three different headlines in the space of eight hours.

Version 1

Version 1

The BBC’s original description of the incident in which a man tried to stab a security guard at the entrance to the embassy and was then shot in the leg was as follows:

“Turkey attack: Man shot at Israel embassy in Ankara”

Obviously that headline led audiences towards the erroneous belief that the “man shot” was the victim of the “Turkey attack” rather than the perpetrator.

Following criticism on social media, over six hours after its original publication that headline was amended to read:

“Turkey attacker shot at Israel embassy in Ankara”

Two hours later the headline changed again – perhaps in an attempt to clarify that the target of the attack was neither a large bird nor a country:

“Turkey Israel embassy attacker shot in Ankara”

Version 3

Version 3

Notably, other media outlets appeared to encounter considerably less difficulty in coming up with a headline which accurately and concisely portrayed the story.

Reuters: Knife-wielding man shot outside Israeli embassy in Turkey: officials

Telegraph: Knife attacker shot attempting to storm Israeli embassy in Turkey

Al Jazeera: Turkey: Knife attacker shot in front of Israeli embassy

CNN: Attacker shot outside Israeli Embassy in Turkey

Related Articles:

BBC News confusion on number of Israelis killed in Istanbul terror attack

BBC News flunks headline of report on Jerusalem terror attack



4 comments on “Misleading headlines for BBC News report on Ankara incident

  1. Meanwhile, at about 3a.m. last night, London time, a sleepless Duvidl mistakenly switched on the BBC World Service only to hear a two-line news headline about the very complex story of Palestinians pushing FIFA to declare Israeli settlement soccer teams illegal (see below).

    Being half asleep, the only words Duvidl can remember from this three-second news item were the all too familiar “…settlements deemed illegal under international law…” Duvidl swiftly switched off the radio, regretting that he had ever turned it on to hear the BBC’s biased sports politicisation.


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