Sunday, August 27, 2006

BBC Has Other Errors

As an update to the earlier BBC post (the one with the photo):

From SUSANNA BRANDON, copy editor, USA Today: BBC correspondent Martin Asser, reporting Aug. 21 from Southern Lebanon, caused something of a photo-staging and child-endangerment stir when he informed readers: "The shell is huge, bigger than the young boy pushed forward to stand reluctantly next to it while we get our cameras out and record the scene for posterity."

But deeper into the accompanying photo essay, titled Lebanese Villagers Return Home, was something equally amiss: a device breathlessly identified in photo No. 9 as an anti-personnel mine. One is led to assume that the mine was left behind by the Israelis to maim these innocent civilians returning home.

There is one small problem: This so-called anti-personnel mine is clearly marked "lithium battery."

The error has since been fixed. I asked for but received no explanation as to why no one at the BBC bothered to find someone to read the Hebrew markings on this diabolical device. At my newspaper, if a photo editor cannot read something in a picture, he or she makes damn sure to find someone who can.

From Poynter Online.

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