On January 8th the BBC News website published a short report titled “Gaza explosion kills Palestinian militant” on its Middle East page.
In that 124 word report, ninety-two words are used to present assorted versions of the story of the death of Mohammed al Ijla (also Ijlah or Ejlla in other reports) put out by the spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (to which al Ijla belonged as a member of the Al Quds Brigades) and the family.
Thirty-two words are used to present the statement made by the IDF clarifying that there was no Israeli activity in the area at the time.
In other words, the BBC gives nearly three times more exposure to unsubstantiated conflicting claims made by two terrorist organisations and the family of a member of a terrorist militia than it does to a statement from an official body of a state.
As we have previously noted on these pages, the “medics and officials” cited by the BBC in this report do not have the most pristine record of reliability. It is therefore of considerable concern that the BBC continues to disseminate information provided by such sources without independent verification.