Success: Times Acknowledges Photo Gaffe

HonestReporting alerted you to The Times of London’s March 31 Image of the Day, which featured which featured a photo of a Palestinian boy in Jenin. The image carried a caption giving the mistaken impression that Israel had just carried out a military assault on the city.Following a flood of complaints from HR subscribers, The Times published this correction the following day in its T2 supplement (content not available on Times website):

The Times’s Sally Baker expanded on this in the April 5 edition, crediting HonestReporting for the correction and acknowledging an error:

What it [the caption] failed to give was any context for the photograph, which was in fact taken in 2002 and, with its caption, forms part of an exhibition, Shattered Dreams, now showing at the Host Gallery in East London. On Tuesday times2 published a correction with the missing information.

It is always bad practice to publish an old photograph and allow readers to think it might be a recent one; against the background of the Middle East it is doubly so, and we were in error. Still, at one point on Monday afternoon the e-mails were landing in the letters inbox at the rate of almost 500 an hour, preventing anything else from getting through, so we had some comeuppance.

While we are still left wondering why such a politicized image was chosen in the first place for Image of the Day, we credit The Times for owning up to its journalistic error and to you, HonestReporting’s subscribers for your prompt action.


A BBC opinion poll has placed Israel second from bottom in a survey of global public opinion on attitudes towards a range of countries. Fifty-two percent viewed Israel as a mainly negative influence, placing it in the dubious company of Iran, Pakistan and North Korea despite Israel being the only Western democracy in the Middle East.

The BBC (and some other media outlets) has undoubtedly contributed to the atmosphere that led to these shocking poll results. With its global reach and influence, the BBC’s drip-drip negative reporting from Israel and the Palestinian areas has spread a poison and demonization of Israel far beyond the shores of the UK.

We think it’s time that the BBC (and some other media outlets) question its own role in contributing to the atmosphere that led to these shocking poll results.

The full BBC opinion poll can be read here (PDF format).