BBC News returns to ‘reporter in the rubble’

Late on October 20th the BBC News website published a filmed report in the ‘Watch/Listen’ section of its ‘Middle East’ page which was presented as follows:

The following day, presentation of the report on the ‘Middle East’ page was amended:

Viewers are not informed of the name of the “neighbourhood in central Gaza” which is the subject of that report from BBC Arabic’s Adnan El-Bursh, meaning that the ‘where’ part of basic journalistic practice is absent.

El-Bursh: “This is an affluent neigbourhood in central Gaza. Overnight, it’s been completely destroyed. 32 tower blocks, each containing dozens of flats, are now gone.”

That omission means that viewers do not know whether or not the location concerned was among those from which the IDF recommended the evacuation of civilians several days previously before they hear a woman tell of specific warnings.

Woman A: “They told us to evacuate at around 20:30 or 21:00 at night. We ran through the streets, then Israel started bombing the area non-stop from 21:00 until 07:00 this morning. You can see all of this destruction.”

El-Bursh: “Umm Salim lived in one of these blocks of flats. She tells me all the families in her tower are now living stranded in the streets of Gaza with nowhere to go. Other residents say many people remain trapped.” […]

El-Bursh: “Last night’s attack took many residents by surprise, as people told me that it has been a relatively calm area in Gaza.”

Woman B: “We are civilians living peacefully in our homes. Why are you bombing us and ruining our lives?”

El-Bursh makes no effort whatsoever to address the ‘why’ component of basic journalism in this report. Given that he does not provide the exact location or time frame, it is difficult to determine the context but we do know that on the night of October 19th/20th several terror assets were targeted.

“The Israel Defense Forces says it struck more than 100 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, including one that killed a member of Hamas’s naval forces who participated in the October 7 massacres.

The IDF says Amjad Majed Muhammad Abu ‘Odeh, targeted in one of the overnight strikes, was involved in the murder of Israeli civilians in southern Israel.

Another overnight strike targeted a Hamas aerial forces squad, after they attempted to fire missiles at Israeli fighter jets, the IDF says.

The IDF says that an underground tunnel, a weapon warehouse and dozens of command centers were among the 100 Hamas sites struck overnight.

Also among the targets was a mosque in the Jabaliya neighborhood, which the IDF says contained Hamas assets and weapons and was used by Hamas as an observation post and a staging ground.”

A written report  – which appeared only in the ‘updates’ section of the ‘Middle East’ page on the afternoon of October 21st and includes the same filmed report – suggests that the location is the neighbourhood of Al-Zahraa.

As we see, the BBC continues its longstanding practice of disseminating context-free ‘reporter in the rubble’ content which does not even attempt to provide information essential for the understanding of why a particular location was a military target, thereby hindering the ability of its audiences to answer the question ‘why are you bombing us?’ that was initially used to promote this report. 

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  1. says: Neil C

    This time Israel will finish what it started, when Hamas TERRORISTS are blindly prepared to murder Arab Palestinian workers who were employed on one of the many socially conscious kibbutzim, it just shows what kind of low life Israel are dealing with. But the BBC are so brainwashed themselves they laud such murderous vermin. #defundthebbc

  2. says: Charlie in NY

    Who knew that luxury high rises dote the world’s largest “open air prison” in which Gazans live as if in the Warsaw Ghetto? Could it be that the media never told the truth about Gaza … ever?

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