There are telltale signs when Harriet Sherwood doesn’t really want to cover a story. A case in point is how the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent chose to cover news of the recently uncovered Gaza terror tunnel.
Sherwood buried news of the 1.7 km long tunnel, recently uncovered by the IDF, in a passing reference (one sentence and an accompanying photo) in a 1200 word story about the economic woes in the strip due to Egypt’s recent clampdown on underground supply tunnels. (And, naturally, Sherwood fails to connect the dots and doesn’t note that the tens of millions of dollars spent by Hamas to build the elaborate “resistance tunnel” could have been used to bolster their economy and improve vital infrastructure.)
However, of greater note is the original title of Sherwood’s story – a report which overwhelmingly focuses on how Cairo has restricted the flow of goods into Gaza, and reduced the number of Palestinians allowed to enter into Egypt, while acknowledging that Israel has increased the number of permits granted to Palestinian exiting the strip, and has eased import restrictions.
Despite the fact that Egypt’s increased restrictions on Palestinians in Gaza is the focus of the story – in contrast with Israel’s eased restrictions – here is the original title per a cached page (before it was changed at the Guardian’s site).
The original title was classic Guardian, conveying an anti-Israel message not supported by the subsequent text. Indeed, we were prepared to focus on the extraordinary misleading title (and complain to Guardian editors) when, roughly an hour later, editors revised it on their own, omitting the word “Israel.”
Interestingly, there’s no acknowledgment of the revision as a footnote at the bottom of the article where they typically note such changes.
Whilst we’d naturally love to take credit for the improved wording in the headline, the revision was either prompted by another complainant, or by their own editors, perhaps realizing that the original claim couldn’t fairly be supported by the facts.
- Palestinians will pay dearly for Hamas ‘resistance tunnels’ (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian misleads in tale of ‘heroic’ Palestinian sperm smuggling (cifwatch.com)
- BBC’s Knell recycles inaccuracies from previous reports (bbcwatch.org)
- BBC not sure cross-border tunnel intended for terror? (bbcwatch.org)