BBC’s Jon Donnison Tweets malicious fauxtography

This is cross posted by Hadar Sela, who originally posted this piece at our sister site, BBC Watch

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”.

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. 


This is just in: 

Sorry – that is nowhere near sufficient.



83 replies »

    • Oh my God… Donnison and his BBC colleagues are doing their job and reporting from Gaza?

      There are independent media and journalists in the UK?


      • If the job of a war correspondent is to be sent photographs from a different war by someone on Twitter and retweet them without checking where they come from, I could do that myself, from home.

        It probably pays better than my job too, and you get to wear those cool vests with all the pockets.

        I should look into this.

  1. Seconded/thirded.

    He absolutely has to explain how he could make this mistake (assumng it was a mistake). The photo is from the wrong country AND is three weeks old! Understandably journalists sometimes depend on other colleagues for sources. If that’s the case here, he really needs to find some new friends. And if he found and posted the photo himself, well …

    • pretzelberg, he was lazy and has fallen prey to the usual sloppy journalistic standards. Easy to do when all around you are doing it too but there’s absolutely no excuse for doing it.

      • So what is it about this ‘journalistic laziness’ that seems mostly work to advance the narrative of right-wing, narrow-minded, murderous, Jew hating, Islamist thugs?

    • Jon Donnison works for a broadcaster that conistently gets it’s facts wrong and has done so for decades and not just on Israeli or Jewish affairs

      • I don’t want Donnison’s head off (nice strawman argument BTW, unless you can actually cite someone who said that). But the counter-argument idea that everyone should just kind of shrug and say “whatever, it’s not a big deal that he lied, everyone lies” is not and never will be viable. And the BBC history of doing this kind of thing on a consistent basis is the reason that it IS a big deal when it’s exposed.

    • What is your problem with Honestreporting? Do you have any problem with debunking lies, distortions and anti-Israel bias in the media? (Of course you have)

    • In your case, you should read it everyday and learn something for a change. Indirectly, despite some of your trite comments from time to time, I think you are beginning to realise who the brainwashed are and who are not.Go figure realzionist.

    • It’s great that you’re here and stimulating debate with people who actually know what they’re talking about, but as you’re exercising your free speech rights it would be nice if you occasionally said something that made any kind of sense.

  2. It always makes me laugh when an entity calls itself the very opposite of what it is. We had the Soviet Ministry of Information, we have honest reporting. The best one of all was Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety.

    • Maybe instead of your usual laughable attempts of Jew-bashing crap you should quote an example when Honestreporting didn’t tell the truth.
      Regarding the the Soviet Ministry of Information – its best acolytes are the BBC and the Guardian.

      • Hear hear peter. It’s easy, isn’t it, “real”zionist, to simply make unsupported allegations, but not quite so easy when asked to back them up with facts. That is exactly why sites like cifWatch, BBCWatch and HonestReporting exist – to demonstrate when misinformation and lies are used to invert the truth.

        And by the way, if you do manage to pick out one example of when they have got something wrong, you have only managed to prove they are fallible, not that they are dishonest or disreputable.

        And that’s the difference between an occasional slip and systematic problems. As the three sites I have already mentioned clearly demonstrate, such “errors” as the one made by Donnison here are not just one off human mistakes, they demonstrate at best a lax approach to journalistic integrity and at worst a systematically biased approach against Israel. In my view it tends towards the latter for one simple reason – the “errors” all seem to be in one direction. When did they ever make a “mistake” in Israel’s favour?

    • Hey, philosophaster, define “entity”, please. Is that just a name? Is that part of language at all? What the heck are you trying to say? What do you mean?

    • “It always makes me laugh when an entity calls itself the very opposite of what it is.” philosophaster-in-chief

      It applies perfectly to yourself, doesn’t it, “realzionist”? What a deep thinker you are…skin-deep, all-right.

      • I don’t understand what you mean by a deep thinker. Is that not a category mistake ? Are thoughts the kind of things that have depth in the way the water in a swimming pool does ?

        • Yeah, philosophaster-in-chief, you basically don´t understand many obvious things and hide your arrogant ignorance behind idiotic pseudo-linguistic games. So, let´s play: what is a pool? Is it an entitiy, a name, a word, a description, or a game? Is “Zionist entity” a name, does it belong to language or is it just a propaganda tool? Is the tool in the pool? Are you a total fool?

    • It always makes me laugh when an entity calls itself the very opposite of what it is. We have the Soviet Ministry of Information, we have realzionist.

    • Says the bigoted scumbag Ed Frias. CiFWatch’s toleration of this poster completely compromises its mission.

      • I don’t understand your problem with his comment, which accurately sums up how the media often uses a false Palestinian narrative in its reporting. If you don’t like Ed Frias, fine, but if you want to call someone a bigoted scumbag it would be wise to not do so in the context of them being neither of those things.

        • The context, Ben, is that Ed Frias says that Arabs are “backwards”. You may be forgiven for not knowing that – but most if not all of the mental midgets here supporting your response are no doubt in the know.

          You might want to revise your statement about Ed Frias not being a bigot.

          Unbelievable bigotry on a site that claims to be against prejudice.

          • Pretz. I am no fan of Ed’s and won’t defend his (ahem) overzealous criticism of Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians en masse, but Ben’s point stands. Ed makes many comments worthy of criticism, but this isn’t one of them. You’ve picked the wrong battle. Sometimes even the biggest idiot can show some insight – even nat and realzionist occasionally make a good point, and it’s a sign of maturity not to respond like a Pavlovian dog to the name of the poster, but to the content of the post.

          • “The context, Ben, is that Ed Frias says that Arabs are “backwards”. ”

            Ed does tend to go over the top quite a bit, but the Arabs states have the lowest literacy rates in the world, just to take one example. How is not backward for a society to have such low literacy rates? Or is it the use of the word “backward” rather than the newer euphemism “underdeveloped” that you have a problem with?

          • @ Jeff

            You cannot be serious. Ed Frias was hardly talking about literacy rates! Why not just acknowledge the bigotry?

  3. Well maybe its mission is ill conceived. If its mission is to expose inaccuracy in The Guardian’s journalism and alleged bias, its mission is not compromised by tolerating scumbags. If however part of the mission is to expose The Guardian’s toleration of scumbags then it is compromised.

    • Hey, philosophaster, remember that The Guardian is just a name, it has no meaning and does not belong to language at all. So what the heck are you talking about?

        • You mean force in the sense of Physics or only figuratively speaking? And what is a function? What is ostensive? Wow, it’s easy to play these games with a philosophaster.

          • The force of a word is the impact of it, the response it tends to cause. A function is a purpose, the job it does. Ostensive is a term belonging to theories of reference. How do words come to refer ? One way is by ostension. E.g. you point at a dog and say …” that is Spike “

          • LOL, you are a joke, philosophaster. You do take yourself that seriously, don’t ya. Now, then, explain to us what is “realzionism”. See, it must be easy for you. And don’t dodge with games. Begin by what you mean by “real”.

          • With respect realzionist, it’s a mistake to treat these trolls seriously. Alas, they prove day after day what bigots they are with their disgusting comments. Best to respond forcefully, I find. But different approaches work too, I’m sure.

      • You take me seriously? That’s worrisome. But, then, what about finally explaining what is ‘real zionism’. And, please, enough of your little word games.

  4. Pretzel for a change instead of calling an other poster scumbag would you write down why this picture is not the Pallywood picture of the year?
    To help your thinking process you can enjoy this Palestinian victory song while you find your answer.
    Attention sanity! Don’t open this link! Knowing your tendency of masturbating
    seeing the clip could cause serious harm to your health.

    • “Those lowlives are not of the same blood as me. We want to strike a blow at Tel Aviv.”
      And there you have it. A catchy tune with a sentiment behind it. Put out by those people the trolls here love and admire.

  5. Serjew you keep asking me what a realzionist is. Well a real zionist is a self hating Jew. And here are some more

    • If you say so. Still, you are lying and dodging the real issues once again, with a false self-deprecating dodge.

      Fact is that you chose your “meaningless” nick (instead of choosing “turd-boy” or “arrogant asshole”) because you wanted to make a statement (with ‘ostensive force’ and all that crap). You wanted to separate yourself from other Zionists, those of us you deem inferior or misguided or “mega-turbo religionethnicnationalists”.

      You think so much of yourself to conceive you are the ‘true’ or ‘real’ Zionist, that is, that type that just watch things from the safe professorial distance, hectoring the world about ‘compassion’, ‘justice’ and ‘equanimity’, while in fact avoiding facing the real-world complexities of a conflict such as I-P. All you can do is play pathetic pseudo-sophisticated games, dodging every substantive issue with sophomoric crap about predicates, names and such empty babbler. In sum, you are a pseudo-intellectual fraudster, much worse that inSanity and much less sincere than prof. sencar.