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November 19, 2012 2:20 pm
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BBC’s Gaza Correspondent Jon Donnison Tweets Picture of Syria Child Victim, Blaming Israel

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Among the recent Tweets on the BBC Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison’s Twitter timeline we find this:

For the Twitter uninitiated, Donnison is retweeting to his 7,971 followers a Tweet by one Hazem Balousha – a Palestinian ‘journalist and social activist’ – including a picture titled “Pain in Gaza”, to which Donnison adds his own commentary – “Heartbreaking”.

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The picture is indeed heartbreaking:

Except  – as has already been pointed out to Donnison – it does not come from Gaza.

Here is the original picture:

Up to now, it may have been possible to put down Jon Donnison’s frequently problematic reporting to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the region.

However, his decision to promote deliberate misinformation – either knowingly or as a result of a complete failure to check facts – indicates that he is not merely naïve.

Donnison has rendered himself no longer fit for the purpose of accurate and impartial reporting from the Middle East in accordance with the BBC’s legal obligations.

Update:

This is just in:

Sorry – that is nowhere near sufficient.

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  • Nobody should be suprised at the BBC cover up for the sexcrimes of Saville and others as well as its unfounded allegations about an English peer. The BBC rapes the truth every day

    Louis Garb

    jerusalem

  • Dave Moore

    Lets not go overboard. A BBC jounalist would not intentionaly lie about this photo, because it would so easily be found out, and be embarrassing to both him and the BBC. And it took just 5 hours for that to happen. But not as a lie. More of a cock up. An own goal if you like. And I’m sure he feels an idiot about it.

  • Eliot Schickler

    As a professional journalist, there is a rule against blatant lying. Evidently, Jon Donnison broke the rule and should be fired and barred from ever reporting again. His blatant lies are unacceptable!

  • Dr. Dunk

    Jon Donnison’s deliberate lies is proof that he’s a left wing and subversive HOMOSEXUAL!

  • venci4

    בן זונה

  • The problem is that any news coming out of Gaza is closely monitored by Hamas: reporters are taken to chosen sites and only allowed to photograph what Hamas directs; similar with interviews from the civilian population; any criticism of the official Hamas line is prohibited; indeed reporters are only allowed to stay in Gaza by agreeing to these restrictions. Such is life under a dictatorship held together by fear and violence.
    Ask yourself – have you ever heard any single word of criticism of Hamas coming out of Gaza?
    What we hear in the West is simply Hamas propaganda dressed up as objective reporting. I’m afraid the Press has become an all too willing tool in this charade.

  • Chris Miller

    It is completely unacceptable for a journalist representing the BBC to conduct himself in this way. It is a basic journalistic responsibility to check the facts. Just because another journalist supposedly said this picture was taken in Gaza does not satisfy that requirement and one would hope would not satisfy the editor of any but the most scurrilous publications. My late father was an editor for BBC TV News back in the 50s and 60s and, from what he used to tell me, this lax approach would not have been tolerated in his day. Also, if a journalist does make a mistake, despite checking sources properly, when the truth eventually comes out a proper apology should be issued. In this case, maybe the BBC should be insisting on that apology and considering Mr Donnison’s position as the BBC’s representative in a region where accuracy is even more important than many other regions.

  • When lives are at risk accurate reporting is not optional, it is a standard that should be sought after and maintained
    To have used this photograph without checking its validity shows a great lack of journalistic responsibility and leaves a credibility gap concerning Mr Donnison’s ability to accurately report on the complexities of the Middle East.

  • too little too late -i believe you did this intentionally

  • Lola

    This reporter is a dis-info agent.

  • noor

    What would be sufficient then? Mistakes can’t be made? Why so all of Israel’s mistakes get ignored and this one has an article written about it? What a biased website.

    P.S. It said I am posting comments too quickly. This is the first ever comment I have ever left on this site.

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