Sunday 15 February 2015

Naming names

22-year old Omar El-Hussein was named over an hour ago (in the Danish media) as the gunman believed to be responsible for the attacks on free speech campaigners and Jews in Copenhagen. 

Sky News was straight onto it (at 19:22):

The BBC, however, is slower on the case. As of 19:52 their news website has...

...and they still haven't updated their main article to name El-Hussein. 

The BBC website isn't the place to go for 'breaking news'.

Update 20:30 On a similar theme, the latest revolting news from Libya - a gruesome massacre of captive Egyptian Copts - is already leading the Sky News website:

This time the BBC website is reporting it as quickly. It's not giving it the same prominence though:

Update 21:50 The BBC isn't advancing this story out of the small print. Sky News is still leading with it. ITV News has it as its third story. 

Update 22:10 And here's where things get really baffling. 

Over three hours on and still the BBC's main article about the killings in Copenhagen has not been updated. It still reads, "The man's name has not been released". 

Sky News, in contrast, not only reported his name three hours ago, they also updated their article an hour and a half ago to give their readers a potted biography of the killer. The ITV News website named him over an hour ago. 

It's especially odd as I put the BBC News Channel on two hours ago and saw the name scrolling across the bottom of the screen.

What is the BBC up to?


  1. Nearly 23:00 and the BBC still has "his name has not been released"! Incredible.

    I don't expect them to be the first out of the blocks - as our public broadcaster they have to approach stories with some caution and make sure they have the facts right.

    But nearly 4 hours on?

  2. Quite.

    And now, five hours on, after even the Guardian has reported the man's name (the 'Telegraph' did so at 19:14 precisely), the BBC are STILL not reporting it.

    "The man's name has not been released", it still says about Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein.

  3. P.S. As per Google...The Independent reported it over an hour ago. The Huffington Post named him over two hours ago. The 'Daily Mail' (typically) also reported his name some time back (not quite sure when). The 'Mirror' reported it over two hours ago. As did the 'Scottish Daily Record'

    The BBC is looking like the last man standing when it comes to reporting this. For some reason.

  4. On the other story...

    ITV News is now leading with the slaughter by Islamists of Christians in Libya. Sky has it as its second story (after the Danish killer). On the BBC homepage, however, it's still in the small print section, and has slipped into eight place - four places below 'Miss Saigon dominates theatre awards'.

  5. The BBC has to worry about offending its large Muslim audience, though. They have their journalistic priorities. Every time they report something like this, a Muslim angel cries, so you can imagine how difficult it is for them.

  6. 7.30 am Monday 16th February.

    The beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by Islamists in Libya has made it to the top spot on the BBC website BECAUSE EGYPT IS BOMBING ISLAMIC STATE IN LIBYA - a military intervention it couldn't play down.

    Meanwhile. the Danish story has vanished from the main headlines (12 of them, as ever) on the BBC News homepage. It's still prominent on both the Sky News and ITV News websites.

    When you find that article, 'Copenhagen shootings: Danish gunman 'had violent past'', it shows that at 2.10 in the morning, the article was updated to include the Muslim gunman's name - in its eighth paragraph!

    Just extraordinary behaviour from the BBC News website.

  7. Well, better (very) late than never.

    A new 'BREAKING NEWS' article, No.2 on the BBC News website at the moment, is:

    Men charged over Copenhagen attacks NEW

    Two men are accused with helping the gunman who murdered two people in separate attacks in Copenhagen, Danish police say.

    Click into the article an the name 'Omar El-Hussein' appears.


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