SUCCESS! HRC Prompts CBC To Acknowledge Jerusalem Bus Bombing

April 20, 2016

Today, HonestReporting Canada liaised with senior executives at the CBC requesting that an online article published the day prior, prominently acknowledge that yesterday’s terror bus bombing in Jerusalem be acknowledged as such, and not just described as a mere bus “explosion”.

We are pleased to report that our intervention prompted the CBC to amend their article’s headline which prominently now notes that a “bus bomb blast” had occurred. Here is an exclusive before and after:

As we told the CBC, our public broadcasters Journalistic Standards and Practices calls for the precise use of language, and while yes, an explosion did occur, it would be more precise to state unequivocally that a bomb blast or an attack had taken place on a Jerusalem bus that injured 21 people. While we appreciate that the sub-headline carries a claim in attribution from an Israeli police commissioner stating that it was a “terror attack”, however, readers view main headlines 3:1 over the adjacent article and may not have seen this. People who only read the main headline on the CBC’s site, or on social media platforms, could have wrongly concluded that perhaps this incident was a motor vehicle accident, a gas leak that caused an explosion or even spontaneous combustion.

Meanwhile, several times in the past 24 hours, CBC TV referred to a “bomb”, “bombing”, and even an “apparent terrorists attack” in Jerusalem:

Lastly, by way of comparison, other Canadian media (National Post, Toronto Star, and CTV News) all covered the incident and they all referred to “suicide attacks” or “terror attack” in their headlines: National Post, Toronto Star, and CTV News:

While we appreciated that when this story was first published this matter was developing and it was not clear whether what took place was an attack or an accident, but as evidence had emerged, it was clear that a terror attack had occurred. As we told the CBC, in an effort to ensure that this story’s headline is at its most precise form as possible, we requested that this headline be amended to reflect that an attack had occurred.

We are pleased that CBC amended their article’s headline to prominently note that a “bus bomb blast” had occurred, and not just a simple “explosion.”

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