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Guardian Video: One Minute, One-Sided By: HonestReporting.com
HonestReporting.com | Thursday, February 07, 2008

Many newspapers enhance their print content by offering multimedia additions through their websites. The UK's Guardian is promoting a 1 minute video, sourced through Reuters, of the aftermath of the Dimona suicide bombing.

While 17 seconds briefly describes the events in Dimona, the remainder and majority of the video is devoted to statements from the Palestinian side. A Palestinian Authority politician offers a half-hearted condemnation of the attack and states that "the occupation is responsible for all the violence in the region". A Hamas spokesman then describes the terror attack as:

a resist operation, a martyr operation from the Palestinians' resistance military group, according as a normal response, toward this shape of collective punishment, and collective killing and shelling... and arresting which was committed by this occupation against the Palestinians including the siege and embargo and all shape of punishment used by this occupation against the Palestinians.

Here the video ends. No comment from Israeli sources, such as the brave policeman who shot the second suicide bomber before he could detonate himself, or any of the injured victims of the attack.

Why is The Guardian promoting such one-sided material on its website and why does it prioritize giving a mouthpiece to a terrorist organization justifying its latest atrocity?

Please send your considered comments to Siobhain Butterworth, The Guardian's readers' editor - reader@guardian.co.uk


The BBC, meanwhile, initially reported the Dimona suicide bombing on its website under the headline: "Rare suicide bombing hits Israel".

Our recent study highlighted a serious problem in the BBC's headline usage and this one has the effect of minimizing and downplaying the continuing seriousness of Israel's security situation. Of course, Palestinian motivation and attempts to carry out terror attacks have not declined over the past few years.

A number of HonestReporting subscribers alerted us to the above headline and sent in complaints to the BBC. The result was an updated and more neutral headline that now reads "Israeli killed in suicide bombing". While the initial headline is further evidence of the skewed thinking behind the BBC's news editors, the subsequent change in headline is a reminder that you can make a difference by taking action - even by contacting the BBC.


The BBC went some way towards redeeming itself with its video footage from the Dimona attack, even headlining it "Terror returns to Israel", the use of the 't-word' very much a rarity in the BBC's lexicon. Included in the footage are the dramatic moments when the second terrorist is killed by an Israeli policeman, who is later interviewed, and scenes of Gazans handing out candies to celebrate the terror attack. Contrast this with The Guardian's video.


On 23 January, we called on our subscribers to ask Reporters Without Borders to condemn a Palestinian sniper attack on an Israeli Channel 2 news crew, footage of which was captured on video. One day later, in response to your e-mails, the organization issued a press release:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the shots that were fired at an Israeli TV reporter and a cameraman on 15 January while in a kibbutz adjoining the border with the Gaza Strip, although they were clearly identifiable as journalists.

"Whatever their nationality, reporters are neutral observers and must not be regarded as a party to any conflict," the press freedom organisation said. "Targeting journalists is unacceptable and must be firmly condemned."

While we welcome this statement, we do wonder why Reporters Without Borders condemns "the shots" rather than the Palestinian snipers who fired the bullets.

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