The British Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage of Sunday’s terror attack by an Arab truck driver in Jerusalem sparked controversy, after a headline by the news outlet emphasized the shooting of the terrorist and downplayed the attack itself.
The headline in question described the terrorist as a “Driver of a lorry”, writing that he was shot after “allegedly ramming pedestrians”.
“Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem after allegedly ramming pedestrians, injuring at least 15, Israeli media report.” Four Israelis were killed in the purposeful attack in which a truck drove onto a promenade filled with Israeli soldiers, reversed slightly and ran them over again.
World Jewish Congress diplomatic corps member Gabriel Rosenberg blasted the BBC over the report, calling the headline “absolutely disgraceful”.
“Absolutely disgraceful headline by @BBCBreaking after terrorist kills 4 #Israelis. Stop portraying the perpetrator as the victim!”
While the BBC headline evolved in the hours after the attack, the outlet repeatedly avoided describing the incident as an act of Arab or Islamic terror, the Honest Reporting media watchdog said.
“The BBC has a habit of attributing terror attacks to inanimate objects or vehicles. And so it was the case with an appalling truck ramming terror attack that took place in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem that has, so far, claimed the lives of four Israelis and injured many more.”
Later headlines covering the attack did blame the truck. They included “Jerusalem ‘lorry attack’ injures 15” and “Jerusalem lorry attack injures soldiers”.