Monday 17 July 2017

A Comedy of Errors

BBC Watch has an absorbing piece on the BBC News website's reporting (or misreporting) of Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Paris, and the evolution of one article in particular. 

The BBC was evidently copying and pasting from the AFP news agency but still managed to misspell the name it was copying, putting "Elie Barnav, a former French ambassador to Israel" when it should have been "Elie Barnavi, a former French ambassador to Israel". 

And the "former French ambassador to Israel" bit was wrong too. AFP's original French copy had it right, but their English translation got it wrong and the BBC simply copied that incorrect English translation. Mr Barnavi is actually "a former Israeli ambassador to France".

BBC Watch contacted the BBC website and got them to make this and other corrections, which the BBC then did without adding any footnotes to acknowledge the errors in the earlier versions of the report. 

And then, in the final version, the BBC removed all the passages which had caused them such problems earlier.

Oh, the pitfalls of churnalism!


  1. Envy of the wold.

    By market rote talents.

  2. Maybe they are learning from The Guardian.
    Mistakes are pointed out in comments, they are corrected (sometimes) but always without signalling the fact. This leaves the original commenters open to accusations of lying or being incapable of reading.
    Nice way to treat your readers.

    1. Tried and trusted.

      And pioneered by the BBC when they had blogs and still on HYS threads.

      That is why, before I hit 'post', I save a PDF of the BBC page.

      It has created sulks in BBC Complaints often.


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