Lebanon Border Incidents Expose Poor Journalism
December 16, 2013 12:08
by Simon Plosker
While the full details of the incident are still unfolding, some of the reporting leaves a lot to be desired.
The Independent stated:
It is not clear what the target of the shooting was although local media reports speculated that Israeli troops had crossed the border.
What exactly were the “local media reports?” They certainly weren’t Israeli as none of these were reporting anything other than an unprovoked attack from the Lebanese side.
The Times of Israel supplies a possible answer:
Hezbollah’s al-Manar news agency claimed an IDF patrol had crossed into Lebanese territory and was fired upon by the Lebanese Armed Forces.
So it seems that the journalist did not want to admit that his “local media reports” were probably taken directly from a terrorist organization’s propaganda outfit rather than a credible news source.
The Independent is guilty of “news laundering” – if the source of his information isn’t credible, why is the information deemed to be credible?
Many hours later, with reports coming in of a separate border skirmish involving the IDF and Lebanese forces, trust the BBC to produce a headline like this:
An all too familiar trick that leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader that Israel is the aggressor. The BBC’s initial knee-jerk reaction to the story demonstrates the framework through which it views Israel.
A short time later, the headline was replaced with the more neutral “Troops shot on Israel-Lebanon border” but the first headline gives an insight into the BBC’s thought process.