Revisiting a BBC News website report from 2020

On February 6th 2020 the BBC News website published a report (which is still available online) concerning a number of terror attacks which took place on that day. As was noted here at the time, one of those incidents was a vehicular attack in Jerusalem which the BBC described as follows: [emphasis added]

“Twelve Israeli soldiers were meanwhile hurt in Jerusalem in what the army said was a Palestinian car-ramming attack.” […]

The Israeli military said a “Palestinian rammed his car” into a group of soldiers who were marching along a pavement towards the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, for an induction ceremony.

One of the soldiers was seriously hurt and required surgery at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, while the others were lightly injured.”

The BBC’s usual avoidance of the term terrorism, together with the use of qualifying language and punctuation, means that what remains on the BBC News website is a partial version of events which does not tell the whole story.

The BBC however describes its online content as “permanent public record”:  

“The Editorial Guidelines state, “The archive of the BBC’s online content is a permanent public record and its existence is in the public interest. The online archive particularly news reports, should not normally be removed or amended.” To do so risks erasing the past and altering history.”

Last week the perpetrator of that 2020 attack was sentenced to 30 years in prison:

“A Palestinian man was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment on Wednesday for the attempted murder of 12 soldiers in a Jerusalem car-ramming terror attack in 2020.

Prosecutors indicted Sanad al-Turman on terror charges of attempted murder for the attack.

The Jerusalem District Court also ruled that Turman will pay financial compensation to each of the injured soldiers — NIS 20,000 (approximately $5,500) to 11 soldiers and NIS 80,000 ($22,000) to the platoon sergeant, a total of NIS 300,000 (approximately $82,000).”

As anyone who closely follows BBC News website coverage of Israel knows, it is extremely rare to find follow-up stories on the outcome – sometimes years later – of trials relating to terror attacks. In this case too, BBC News website audiences have seen no reporting on the indictment, trial and sentencing of the perpetrator of the attack that it reported using the ‘Israel says’ formula over three years ago.

Clearly the absence of such follow-up reporting does not serve the public interest and may in itself be seen as “altering history” because what therefore remains online as “permanent public record” is a only an early and inevitably qualified version of events which fails to fully inform BBC audiences.

Related Articles:

BBC NEWS PORTRAYAL OF PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE STICKS TO THE NARRATIVE

BBC NEWS COVERAGE OF TERRORISM IN ISRAEL – FEBRUARY 2020

More from Hadar Sela
BBC NEWS COVERAGE OF TERRORISM IN ISRAEL – APRIL 2021
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) during April 2021 shows...
Read More
Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. says: Geoffrey Bernstein

    The BBC seems to go on its own “sweet” way, taking no notice whatsoever of your valid and justifiable criticism.

    1. says: Sid+Levine

      Correct. In the meantime the great and good of Anglo Jewry sit on their backsides, ranging from the religious to the lay leaders.
      Where is the UK Board of Deputies – so busy criticizing the current Israeli government regarding judicial reform or the Jewish “Leadership” Council never mind the Office of the “Chief Rabbi” that kowtows to the basic anti Judaism portrayed on the BBC “Thought for the Day” program. Methinks it is time to get rid of these leaders once and for all since they oy represent themselves and do NOT put attacks by the media on Jews/Israel as a priority and cannot see further than their noses!

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *