Breaking News: BBC Apologizes!

The flying pig is working overtime.

On 6 July I complained to the BBC about their publishing of two maps that deliberately mislead people about Gaza’s borders.

Here’s the first map and note the lack of the word Egypt and the way that there is no differentiation between Israel and Egypt in terms of colour as there would be in any normal map (I believe mapmakers usually work to a three colour rule)…

On 17 August the BBC responded thus:

‘NewsOnline Complaints to me
 
Mr Goat,
Thank you for your e-mail and please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. The first map is not intended to be an accurate geographic or political representation but to show the location of Gaza and where this particular incident happened. Had Egypt been involved in any way in this story, the map would have included Egypt.

The same applies to the second map, which illustrates a story about Israel and Lebanon. This map also does not name Saudi Arabia, which is also not mentioned in the report. In a story about England we might show an appropriate map, but it might not be necessary to name Scotland and Wales if they were not relevant to that particular report.

Best wishes,

BBC News website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

*****************************************************

{Title:} Mr  
{First Name:} NotaSheep  
{Last Name:} MaybeaGoat
{Under 13:} No
{Email:} [email protected]
{Postcode:}
{Location:} England
{Phone:}

{Feedback Type:} I would like to… Make a complaint
{Summary:} Deliberate misdirection of readers of article
{URL:} http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14035536
{Complaint:} On 6 July I complained about the deliberate misdirection of
readers of the above article.
‘In the BBC article headlined ‘Israel forces ‘kill two militants in central
Gaza”, the BBC include a map. This map makes it seem as though Israel is
both enormous and surrounds Gaza thus explaining how Israel has been able to
 blockade it for some years now. There is of course a problem with this:
Israel does not surround Gaza. The country that borders Gaza to the South
East is Egypt not Israel, that is where the Rafah Crossing is… So why have
 the BBC omitted the word Egypt from that first map?’
A day later you published another map in this article -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14051618 – and yet again the map
 missed off any reference to Egypt.
I can see no excuse for this deliberately misleading of the public. I can
also not see why I have yet to receive a response to my original complaint.

{Reply:} Yes

I replied with this:

Thank you for your response but I am sorry I do not, as they say, buy it.

The first map shows the borders of Gaza just to the point where Gaza ends. If the map went any further south then it would have to show the border between Israel and Egypt. Contrary to your claim in your email ‘ the map would have included Egypt’ – the map does include Egypt, it is just that you choose not to denote that country. This is important as the BBC do often seem to try to spread the narrative that Israel controls entry to and exit from Gaza when in fact there is a long land border between Gaza and Egypt, the very border that you chose not to show on that map.

Your comparison with the omission of Saudi Arabia from the second map is a red herring as that country is more than one border away from the scene of the story.

Two maps; both not mentioning Egypt, a country that borders Gaza; not that someone relying on the BBC for their facts would see that.

Regards

NotaSheep MaybeaGoat

PS: I am not Mr Goat, I am Mr MaybeaGoat

Over two months after the last reply, three plus months after the original complaint, the BBC have responded seemingly to the original complaint(?), and there’s an apology in there:

NewsOnline Complaints to me

Dear Sir,

Sorry not to reply sooner to your complaint.

One of the maps http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14035536 is plain shoddy work, for which we apologise. It should mark Egypt.

On the second map http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14051618 there is no space to mark Egypt. Our standard maps of this kind are made by journalists using a map making programme – size of frame and the options for labelling are limited. While Egypt is not marked, for lack of space, it is in a different colour to Israel, so there is no impression of Israel surrounding Gaza.

Best regards,

Middle East desk
BBC News website

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

Usually, the BBC gets on our goat; it’s great to see a goat (or at least Maybe a Goat) get on the BBC for a change.

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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks