Between April 1st and June 30th 2016, fifty-four reports with content relating to Israel and/or the Palestinians appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page. Some of the reports were produced by other departments or appeared on other pages of the website (e.g. ‘Europe’ or ‘UK Politics’) but were also posted on the Middle East page.
Six of those articles related to the wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis which began in the autumn of 2015 and continued during 2016, albeit with lower intensity. As readers can see for themselves, not one of those headlines included the term ‘terror’ and that editorial policy is similarly apparent in the reports themselves.
(The dates in brackets represent the period of time in which each report was available to visitors to the website’s Middle East page.)
Israel says Jerusalem bus bombing was Hamas suicide attack (21/4/16 to 24/4/16) (discussed here)
Tel Aviv shooting: Four killed in shopping centre attack (8/6/16 to 9/6/16) (discussed here)
Tel Aviv shooting: Israel suspends Palestinian permits (9/6/16 to 10/6/16) (discussed here)
Israeli troops ‘mistakenly kill Palestinian bystander’ (21/6/16 to 22/6/16)
Israeli girl stabbed to death by Palestinian inside bedroom (30/6/16 to 1/7/16) (discussed here)
A further 2 articles related to incidents concerning Hamas’ cross border tunnels.
Israeli troops uncover ‘new’ tunnel leading from Gaza (18/4/16 to 19/4/16) (discussed here)
One report related to security issues along the border with Syria.
One report related to a previous terror attack from October 2015.
Palestinians jailed for life for killing Israeli couple (22/6/16 to 26/6/16) (discussed here)
Notably, the word terror was found in the headline of one of three articles relating to terror attacks by Israelis.
Israel arrests six members of ‘Jewish terror cell’ (20/4/16) (discussed here)
Mohammad Abu Khdair murder: Israeli ringleader found guilty (19/4/16 to 20/4/16) (discussed here)
Mohammad Abu Khdair murder: Israeli ringleader jailed for life (3/5/16 to 5/5/16)
In all, 24% of the second quarter reports covered stories relating to security/terrorism which were either current at the time or were follow-ups to previously reported incidents. The additional topics found in the BBC’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians during the second quarter of 2016 will be discussed in part two of this post.