Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: April to September 2016

In recent months, visitors to the BBC News website have repeatedly read a largely copy/paste portrayal of terrorism in Israel during the last year.

July 2016: “Thirty-five Israelis have now been killed in a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks since October.

More than 200 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period.”

September 2016: “Thirty-five Israelis been killed [sic] in a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since last October.

More than 200 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period.

Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”

October 2016: “Thirty-five Israelis been killed [sic] in a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs since October 2015.

More than 200 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have also been killed in that period.

Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks. The Palestinian leadership has blamed frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation.”

Back in April we took a look at how much of that “wave” of attacks (which the BBC of course still refuses to describe as terrorism) had actually been reported to audiences during the six months between October 2015 and March 2016.

“During that time the Israel Security Agency has documented a total of 1,639 attacks, ninety of which – i.e. 5.49% – have received coverage on the BBC News website.”

Based on our monthly review (see ‘related articles’ below), we can now take a look at the BBC’s reporting of the same subject throughout the six months between April 2016 and September 2016.

During that time the ISA documented a total of 622 attacks, just twelve of which – i.e. 1.9% – received coverage on the BBC News website.

chart-april-to-sept

Six people were murdered in terror attacks between April 1st and September 30th 2016. The BBC reported all those fatalities and – in contrast with its record during the prior six months in which 40% of the people killed were not identified – also named all the victims.

During the twelve months between October 1st 2015 and September 30th 2016, a total of 2,261 attacks were recorded by the ISA. 102 of those attacks – i.e. 4.5% – were mentioned in reports on the BBC News website. Thirty-nine people – Israelis and foreign nationals – have been killed in those twelve months (and two more last month) and hundreds wounded. Three of those fatalities (7.7%) were not reported at all by the BBC and of the casualties which were reported, twelve people (30.8%) were not identified by name. In contrast with BBC reporting on terror attacks in other locations around the world, only four of the victims had their photographs published by the BBC.

The victims are described by the BBC as having been killed in “a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks” and indeed shooting attacks were the leading cause of death followed by stabbing attacks and car rammings. The information provided by the ISA shows that a total of 115 stabbing attacks, 88 shooting attacks (not including those along the border with the Gaza Strip), and 22 car rammings were carried out during those twelve months. Additional methods of attack not reflected in the BBC’s portrayal include IEDs (over 250), petrol bombs and missile and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Clearly the BBC’s portrayal of twelve months of terror attacks against Israelis does not provide audiences with the full range of available information necessary for their understanding of the scale and extent of the attacks. Notably, despite having had twelve months in which to independently verify the information, the BBC is still appending the caveat “Israel says” to its description of most of the Palestinian fatalities as “attackers”.

BBC audiences have also yet to see any serious reporting on the issue of the incitement and glorification of terrorism by official Palestinian bodies which has underpinned that year of terror.

Related Articles:

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – April 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – May 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – June 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – July 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – August 2016

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – September 2016

Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: October 2015 to March 2016

 

 

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3 comments on “Reviewing the BBC News website’s coverage of terror in Israel: April to September 2016

  1. Pingback: No follow-up to a story the BBC previously featured in four reports | BBC Watch

  2. Pingback: BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – October 2016 | BBC Watch

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