UKMW prompts correction at Indy on ‘settler attack’, and at the Telegraph on Jerusalem embassies

UK Media Watch prompted two corrections recently. At the Indy, we convinced editors to revise a sentence which misleadingly framed an accusation that settlers killed a Palestinian woman as if it were a fact, rather than just a claim. At the Telegraph, we prompted a correction to a sentence which claimed that the US was the only country to move its embassy to Jerusalem, neglecting to note that Guatemala also recently moved its embassy to the Israeli capital.

Earlier in the week, we posted about the Independent’s rush to judgment is pronouncing Israeli settlers guilty in a rock throwing attack that killed a Palestinian woman in the West Bank, despite the fact that police were still investigating the case and their weren’t any suspects.

Here’s the sentence in question, in an article published on Oct. 14:

Palestinian woman has been killed after being struck in the head by a stone thrown by Israeli settlers.

We noted that other media outlets were far more careful, as the accusations against unidentified ‘settlers’ were based on testimony by the victim’s relatives who didn’t actually see the perpetrators. 

We complained to Indy editors both about the opening sentence, and about the headline, which similarly stated, as if it were a fact, that settlers killed the woman.  Whilst they only agreed to add ‘scare quotes’ around the words (‘after Israeli settlers pelt her car with stones’) in the headline to note that it was only an accusation, they also added the key word “allegedly” in the opening sentence – a modest change which at least makes the article more accurate.

Here’s the new sentence:

Palestinian woman has been killed after being struck in the head by a stone allegedly thrown by Israeli settlers.

And, on Oct. 16th, we tweeted the Telegraph, and complained to editors of an omission in the following sentence in an article on the possibility that Australia may move its embassy to Jerusalem.

We noted that Guatemala also moved their embassy to Jerusalem, and editors promptly revised the sentence in acknowledgment of this fact.

Here’s the new sentence:

The USA and Guatemala are the only countries with embassies in Jerusalem, but Mr Netanyahu has attempted to persuade others to follow suit.

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