BBC's Flawed Reporting on Taliban's Korean Hostage Release

Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law. Here's an excerpt:

Taleban free all Korean hostages tootled BBC Views Online last week, except of course the headline is not quite right. Not all of the hostages were freed, unless you count the two poor souls who were murdered and dumped in ditches as having been 'freed' too. Those who clicked on the errant headline did find out, in paragraphs four and five, that:
The Taleban seized the group of 23 last month as they travelled by bus on the main highway from Kandahar to Kabul. Two male hostages were subsequently killed.

Nice passive BBC reporting on the nice passive Taleban, as if the South Koreans were 'killed in a road accident' or somesuch, quite coincidental to their kidnap, rather than brutally and viciously murdered and dumped by their brutal and vicious kidnappers acting in the name of their supposed god. Later, around 10pm on Saturday, BBC Views Online reported that:

Freed South Koreans return home

But by 6.30am on Sunday, a mere nine edits later, the story was spun into:

Freed S Korean hostages 'sorry'

For the rest of Andrew's item, check out biased-bbc.blogspot.com.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters