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CBC News Makes On-Air Correction about Israel

Network Made Erroneous Statement about Rockets Fired from Gaza
By: Mike Fegelman
Published: June 21st, 2012 in News » World
A pair of Qassam rockets are launched towards Israel from Gaza City

With over 60 rockets having been fired at Israel’s southern cities in the past three days, a majority of which were propelled by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip, four Israelis have been injured and the lives of over one million innocent Israeli civilians have been put at risk.

This recent escalation has provoked counter Israeli strikes to thwart the persistent terror attacks. Expectedly, this recent conflict has fueled our media’s relentless appetite for news that “bleeds and leads”.

The need for accurate reporting on these sensitive matters is essential. With the stakes being ever so high, HonestReporting Canada has been working diligently working with Canadian media outlets to ensure that this latest conflagration was being accurately reported.

Of significance, we contacted senior editors at CBC News on June 20 to alert them to an erroneous statement aired on CBC News Now on the day prior which claimed that zero rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in the past year.

At 4:26pm on Tuesday June 19, CBC News Anchor Reshmi Nair erroneously stated the following: “The United Nations is condemning a recent surge of rocket attacks on Israel and it is urging Israel to show restraint in its response. There were funerals today for two Palestinians killed in an Israeli airstrike. Israel claims they were about to launch a rocket over the border from Gaza. Hamas of Gaza denies that, but retaliatory rocket attacks were launched from Gaza after the Israeli strike. They were the first rockets fired from Gaza in more than a year after an unofficial ceasefire, and most of the recent rocket attacks have been launched by militants fired from Egyptian territory in the Sinai desert.”

To watch this report please click here.

Within a matter of hours of receiving our complaint, CBC News commissioned the following on-air correction: “In a report yesterday on the latest round of rocket attacks in Israel, it was mistakenly reported that they were the first attacks launched from Gaza in a year, that’s not true, in fact there have been other rocket attacks from Gaza in the past year and as of midday at least 65 rockets have been launched in Israel in the last three days, we regret that error.”

To watch this correction please click here.

While well intentioned, this CBC correction was inadequate as it only made reference to “other rocket attacks” and thereby failed to indicate that Israel has been on the receiving end of hundreds of rockets in the past year alone from Gaza. This was a significant omission on the CBC’s part, especially as the crux of this issue centred around the number of rockets that have been fired at Israel from Gaza in the past year. Instead of providing the most precise, accurate, and relevant information for the benefit of CBC’s viewing audience, CBC journalists produced a vague corrective notice bereft of important information. Notwithstanding, we thank CBC News for promptly addressing this matter and for endeavouring to set the record straight with this correction.

Mike Fegelman is the Executive Director, HonestReporting Canada

Related articles: CBC, Israel, Gaza, Rockets
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