Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sexing up Iran's nuclear ambitions

Dear complaints,

Can I ask why you made such a simple error here?
What proof do you have that Iran +is+ acquiring nuclear weapons?
You should change this immediately and remind your staff not to sex-up this matter.
"Germany has warned Iran that it would support tougher sanctions if diplomatic efforts to stop the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons broke down"
I would like a reply.

Many thanks.


I don't think we're saying Iran is definitely acquiring nuclear weapons. The sentence talks about "diplomatic efforts to stop the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons" - the efforts may well be based on the belief that Iran is working on weapons, but we haven't said that ourselves. We make clear that Iran denies the claims.

Best wishes,

Ian Jolly
News website

Dear Ian,

Thanks for your reply. I disagree.

As there is no mention of a "belief" in this sentence which you suggest these efforts "may well" be based on, what the sentence is in fact saying is the Iranians have started to acquire nuclear weapons and there are ongoing diplomatic efforts to stop them.

"Iran says it wants the uranium for nuclear power, not weapons"
You mention that you have made it "clear that Iran denies the claims" but what good is this denial when you state as fact that they have started acquiring nuclear weapons? This portrays Iran as liars and is hardly impartial.

Please reconsider and rephrase the sentence in question.

Many thanks.

Revisionista: This article

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Controlling Gaza

Dear complaints,

In article
Israel expels Gaza aid ship team

"The Israeli military said no weapons had been found on the ship.Earlier it had said the ship could be a security threat or be used for smuggling banned equipment."

But in this article,
Hamas police 'seize aid for Gaza'

"However, the UN, along with most of the Western world, does not deal directly with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip."

This is just one of many instances of contradiction found on the bbc website with regard to who controls Gaza.

In the first instance, you use the words, "smuggling banned equipment". This says to me that Israel is the law here and they control what goes in and what comes out.

In the latter, you are telling me that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

How can they have control if they don't control their borders like every other government around the world? Why does someone in control have to "smuggle" anything? Israel just places an order with the U.S. for military equipment but this isn't classed as smuggling for some reason by the BBC. If Hamas are in control, when did they make a list of, "banned equipment"?

I'd like an explanation please and if possible a rethink of the way you use these key phrases. A high proportion of my emails do not get answered within 10 days if at all. I would like a response.

Many thanks