BBC News removes inaccurate claim regarding hostage

In our discussion of BBC News website coverage of the hostages rescue in Nuseirat in early June, we noted that one of the BBC’s reports had inaccurately described Noa Argamani as “a Chinese-born Israeli citizen”.

OMISSION AND INACCURACY IN BBC REPORTING ON HOSTAGE RESCUE

On June 9th CAMERA UK submitted a complaint to the BBC on that issue, pointing out that Noa Argamani was not born in China but in Israel. On June 17th we received a communication informing us that it would take more time to address our complaint. 

However, the relevant part of the report concerned – which was originally published on June 8th – has in fact been amended.

Original:

“Miss Argamani, a Chinese-born Israeli citizen, was kidnapped from the Nova festival and harrowing video footage from 7 October showed the 26-year-old being taken away on the back of a motorbike screaming, “Don’t kill me!”

After amendment:

“Miss Argamani was kidnapped from the Nova festival and harrowing video footage from 7 October showed the 26-year-old being taken away on the back of a motorbike screaming, “Don’t kill me!””

The report now also includes the following footnote dated June 21st:

Nevertheless, on July 8th we received an email from BBC Complaints telling us that:

“We are writing to say sorry that we’ve not been able to reply to your complaint within the time period we aim for. We manage this for most complaints, but it’s not always possible – we apologise that it’s now overdue.

We will respond as soon as we can – we appreciate your understanding.

If you wish to refer this delay and the substance of your complaint to the BBC’s regulator Ofcom, you can do so online at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/make-a-complaint/complain-about-tv-radio-or-on-demand-services/ or by post to: Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. Please include for Ofcom a summary of your correspondence with the BBC in this case, and any BBC case reference numbers which you have been given.”

Notably, this is not the first time that the BBC Complaints department has claimed that it has been unable to respond to a complaint within the corporation’s self-determined time frame, despite the items concerned having already been corrected:

BBC UNABLE TO REPLY TO A COMPLAINT ABOUT ITEMS IT ALREADY AMENDED

Neither is this the first time that BBC Complaints has referred us to OFCOM, potentially wasting that body’s time and resources on a complaint which has in fact already been addressed.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that at BBC Complaints, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

Update: 

Some six hours after the publication of this post CAMERA UK received the following communication from the BBC News website:

“Thank you for getting in touch about our article Four hostages rescued in Gaza as hospitals say scores killed in Israeli strikes and please accept our apologies for the delay in our response.

You may since have become aware that on the 24th June [sic] we amended the article to remove this description and added a note advising readers of this change.

Please accept our apologies for the error and thank you once again for getting in touch.”

 

 

 

 

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