BBC amends inaccurate claim on Gaza mortar fire

As was noted here a couple of days ago, a BBC report from April 27th claimed that a recent UN report on last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hamas stated that Israeli forces had fired eighty-eight mortar rounds at a girls’ school in the Gaza Strip.

UN report art text

Perusal of the report summary itself showed that the claim was inaccurate.

Following communication from BBC Watch, the BBC News website has now amended that section of the article.

UN Gaza report amended text

A footnote has been appended to inform readers of the correction.

UN Gaza report correction footnoteThe BBC News website explained the source of the inaccuracy as follows:

“It was, as you point out, a mistake to say the UN inquiry summary said it found that Israeli forces had fired 88 mortars at the girls’ school. It appears the error originated in a report by AP.” [emphasis added]

Agencies such as Associated Press are obviously not subject to the same editorial standards of accuracy and impartiality as apply to BBC content and therefore any agency material should surely be subject to rigorous fact checking before it is used (in this case, without any indication) in a BBC report.

Whilst this correction is clearly very welcome, the continued lack of a dedicated corrections page on the BBC News website of course means that it is highly unlikely that those who read the original version of the report would have returned to it three days after publication and seen the appended footnote. 


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