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August 08, 2014

The BBC -World's Largest Media Organization - Finally Questions Gaza Casualties

The BBC is the world's largest media organization. It devotes enormous resources to reporting news from the around the world. Now we know it even has an in-house statistics department. Yet, it is weeks late in reporting what CAMERA and numerous other organizations have documented about the disproportionate number of young adult males - in the age bands frequently encountered as combatants - among the so-called civilian fatalities in Gaza.

It is a sad commentary on the BBC, that organizations possessing just a tiny fraction of the BBC's vast resources, organizations that in many cases aren't even news organizations and often lack correspondents, figured out weeks ago that the casualty statistics presented by Gazan authorities and their affiliates are misleading and should not be relied upon.

The BBC on August 7, released a report by its head statistician acknowledging the excess representation of young males among the fatalities and underrepresentation of women and children. Even so the report still uses overly cautious language, for example, stating,

There has been some research suggesting that men in general are more likely to die in conflict than women, although no typical ratio is given...

And what organization does the BBC credit with raising questions about the demographics of the casualties? The New York Times, of course, which has been equally tardy in reporting on the question of the proportion of civilian casualties versus combatants.

CAMERA was first to point out the disproportionate number of fatalities among young males of prime combat age more than three weeks ago. Numerous media sources followed suit with their own coverage of this observation. Yet the BBC only seems to have noticed after the Times published its late-in-the-game article a day ago.

A question to ponder with respect to both the BBC's and the Times' sluggishness in discussing the implication of a disproportionate number of young combat-age fatalities: did these two media giants intentionally delay reporting on this topic during the period of heaviest coverage of the conflict in order to allow Hamas and its supporters plenty of time to implant the perception that Israel's response was disproportionate and indiscriminate?

Posted by SS at August 8, 2014 01:49 PM


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