BBC report on Ashkelon: 80% of footage from elsewhere

This looks promising at first sight: a two minutes and 27 seconds BBC News report by Jeremy Bowen entitled “Israeli-Gaza conflict: Ashkelon bears brunt of rockets” from November 18th

The town of Ashkelon (population about 120,000) has indeed suffered greatly from rocket attacks over the past twelve years as well as the past few days

Israeli rescue workers stand at the scene of a rocket attack in the southern city of Ashkelon May 14, 2008. A rocket struck a shopping mall in Ashkelon, close to the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday and wounded several people, the Israeli army and emergency service officials said.
Ashkelon shopping centre after a rocket attack in 2008. Photo credit Reuters
School in Ashkelon Itai Levi / Jini
A school in Ashkelon after being hit by a Grad rocket in 2009. Photo by Itai Levi / Jini
Ashkelon residents outside a building hit by a rocket on November 18th 2012. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Here is some footage from Ashkelon taken on November 19th by Al Jazeera. 


So did BBC audiences finally get to see what is happening in that beleaguered town? Well, not much.

 Bowen’s 147 second report showed a mere twenty-eight seconds of footage from Ashkelon.

The rest of the report showed images of a meeting of the Israeli cabinet (12 seconds), Israeli soldiers training (60 seconds), President Obama (25 seconds), the Iron Dome missile defence system (25 seconds), a panorama of Gaza City (2 seconds) during which Bowen injects the loaded term ‘proportionate’, an interview with Lt Col Leibovich of the IDF Spokesman’s unit (14 seconds) and is then rounded up with a further 20 seconds of pictures of Israeli tanks and bulldozers.

So BBC viewers are probably little the wiser about what it is like for the residents of Ashkelon to “bear the brunt” of barrages of rocket attacks for years on end after Jeremy Bowen’s report.

But they do now know that there are lots of soldiers, politicians and very big bulldozers in Israel.

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