Another fatal terror attack; another miserable BBC News headline

The wording of promotion of a report which appeared on the BBC News website on the evening of January 17th leaves little doubt as to the intended focus of audience attention.  

Dafna Meir murder tweet

Dafna Meir murder on HP

Dafna Meir murder on ME pge

The headline of the article itself – “Israeli woman stabbed to death in Otniel settlement house” – likewise refrains from clarifying to readers that the story is actually about a terror attack. Whilst failing to provide any information about the identity of the perpetrator of the attack, the headline does however take care to stress the BBC’s preferred political designation of the location where the incident took place and the caption to the accompanying illustrative image adds the dimensions of religion and ethnicity. 

“A massive manhunt is under way after the Israeli army said a Palestinian broke into a house in the Jewish settlement of Otniel and stabbed a woman to death” [emphasis added] 

Dafna Meir murder BBC headline

The 179-word report appeared some four and a half hours after the incident, by which time the victim had been identified and the circumstances clarified.  Despite that, information concerning the victim is confined to a mere handful of words.

“An Israeli woman has been stabbed to death by a Palestinian who broke into her house, Israel’s army says. […]

The woman killed in Otniel has been identified as Dafna Meir, a mother in her late 30s.”

The BBC chose not to report that Dafna Meir was the mother of four children and had two additional foster sons. Crucially, readers were not informed that three of her children were at home at the time and witnessed the attack. Additional personalising information such as the fact that Dafna Meir was a nurse in the neurosurgery department of Be’er Sheva’s Soroka hospital was not included in the report , which again went on to inform readers that:

“Troops are searching for the attacker who fled the scene in the Jewish settlement of Otniel near Hebron.” [emphasis added]

Once again we see that as far as the BBC is concerned, the most important thing its audiences need to know about Israelis murdered in terror attacks is the ‘correct’ political classification of their postcode.

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