Readers no doubt recall that the BBC’s coverage of the football match between Israel and Wales last weekend included the gratuitous use of an image showing a flag belonging to neither of the countries participating in the game.
A member of the public who complained about the use of that photograph received a response from BBC Complaints which includes the following:
“During our coverage of the Wales v Israel match on the sport website on Sunday, a picture of a man holding a Palestinian flag was used by mistake. The image appeared for a very short period of time before we removed it.” [emphasis added]
So is the BBC telling us that its staff managed to confuse a red, green, black and white flag with a blue and white one or was it that they did not notice that the flag pictured was missing a rather large mythical creature in the middle?
Luckily, the BBC managed to avoid repetition of that “mistake” when, just days later, it devoted a filmed report, a written report and a report in Arabic to the topic of the UNGA vote to allow the flags of holders of non-member observer status to be flown alongside those of its member states at its headquarters. In that case the BBC managed to illustrate the written article appearing on its website’s Middle East page with the correct flag.
Over at the BBC Arabic website, however, their version of the story was illustrated as follows:
Yes – apparently the only image of a Palestinian flag which BBC Arabic staff could find was a Reuters picture depicting armed Israeli soldiers. Perhaps that is a “mistake” too.