UK Media Watch prompts another correction to false ‘Arabic speaking saints’ claim

It’s quite telling that multiple (British, American and Israeli) media outlets reporting on the recent canonization of two Ottoman-era ‘Palestinian’ nuns, Mariam Baouardy and Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, all got the same element of the story wrong: the claim that Ghattas and Baouardy were the first Arabic-speaking Catholics to receive this honor. 

Though we’ll likely never know how all these journalists stumbled upon this erroneous claim, and why they apparently accepted it as fact without engaging in basic fact-checking, one of the primary aims of UK Media Watch is to hold news sites accountable for such errors.  As such, we recently facilitated a correction to the online and print editions of Times of London (The Times) relating to this false claim after we demonstrated that there have been other Arabic-speaking Lebanese saints.

This represents the third such correction we’ve prompted to the ‘Palestinian saints’ story in a week. (See Guardian and Telegraph correction posts, here and here.)

Here’s a snapshot of the Times of London correction.

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We commend Times of London for responding positively to our complaint.

We’re currently attempting to get the Daily Mail to correct the same error, and will post an update when we receive a reply from their editors. 

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