Monday, December 04, 2006

Footnote to Israel-Lebanon report

In August, BBC reporter Orla Guerin filed a report from the town of Bint Jbeil in the midst of the Israel-Lebanon conflict. The report was one of the more blatant examples of BBC bias on the Middle East conflict, and blogger Drinking From Home exposed the numerous factual errors in the report.

In Australia, SBS aired the same report on 15 August.

Nearly four months on, and with one feisty librarian on the case, SBS issued an apology clarification for airing the error-riddled report:

World News Australia (15/8/2006)
On August 15, 2006, World News Australia carried a report on destruction in the town of Bint Jbeil in Southern Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. The report stated that "this town has really been wiped out."

The centre of the town did suffer extensive damage and could be said to have been "wiped out" but some areas of the town suffered less damage.

A subsequent bulletin of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs states that "1,200 houses out of 1,500 were destroyed in Bint Jbeil"


It wouldn't even qualify as a Clayton's apology. As for a discussion of why terrorists chose to base themselves in a civilian area, leading to the tragedy at the centre of the report, the search for balance continues.

UPDATE 5/12, 10:30am: Should have linked to the clarification. Sorry 'bout that.

5 comments:

sara said...

well done ari glad to see you are so observant s

Anonymous said...

Good on you, Ari, for picking up what the feisty librarian reported. Where is the balance from SBS? It certainly does appear to be a "clayton's apology"!

By the way, SBS refused to deal with the complaint at all until it was sent to them by snail mail.

J.

Anonymous said...

Hello, can we accept SBS's claytons apology? Six months down the track and is that all they can come up with?

It's pretty poor, isn't it. Is that what SBS calls balanced reporting?

Feisty librarian - keep the barstards honest.

Aunty

Nahum said...

Ari, you know what I'm going to post on this topic.

Gee only 1200 out of 1500 houses destroyed. Hmm. How widespread were the Hezbollah forces? I'd say that four fifths is pretty much wiping out the neighbourhood. Sounds pretty balanced to me. Did you want them to parrot the Israeli propaganda, without questioning the facts, just like another prominent Australian American media mogul?

It's a shame that 300 houses remain. That's exactly one fifth. If I lived a bit closer, I'd pop on over and put in a couple of letterbox bombs, just to add to the Israeli artwork and finish the job off for them. (that's if I wouldn't be blown to bits by the millions of unexploded cluster bomblets littering the landscape of southen lebanon, effectively making much of Southern Lebanon uninhabitable.)

This aint about the Jews, but any wonder why people hate Israel? Behave like a bully and you will be hated like one.

Anonymous said...

The BBC report is not biased, you are. There is a concerted campaign to undermine the editorial integrity of independent public service broadcasters. If the BBC or ABC do not report the neocon view of the Middle East they are labelled as 'biased' and pressured to toe the line.