Reader secures correction to inaccurate claim in BBC website report

h/t Funzarian

On February 10th we pointed out here that in an article from the same date titled “Palestinian refugees’ suffering in Syria’s Yarmouk camp” by Yolande Knell and Yousef Shomali it was claimed that: 

“The unofficial camp was set up as a home for refugees who left or were forced from their original homes because of the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel.”

As was noted at the time:

“Obviously, the average reader would take that sentence to mean that Israel was created after – and as a result of – the 1948 war. Clearly, that claim is inaccurate and actively misleads audiences with regard to the fact that the 1948 war began on May 15th 1948 – the day after Israel declared independence – when the nascent state was attacked by five Arab countries and an assortment of irregulars and foreign volunteers.”

BBC Watch reader Funzarian also noticed that historical inaccuracy and contacted the BBC News website’s Middle East desk. The reply received stated:

“As you correctly point out, the war followed the creation of Israel, and we have changed the wording accordingly.”

The relevant passage of the BBC report now reads as follows:

Amended Yarmouk art

Although the correction is obviously welcome and necessary, no footnote informing readers that it has been made is appended to the article and of course audience members who had already read the article before the amendment was made will remain unaware that they were misled with regard to historical facts. This latest example once again underlines the need for a dedicated webpage informing readers of corrections and amendments made to articles appearing on the BBC News website.

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