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BBC and NYT Admit Gazan Civilian Casualty Stats Not Credible

World  (tags: BBC, NYT, Gaza, casualties, credibility )

- 1805 days ago -
Both the BBC and the New York Times (which has been particularly fixated on the daily casualty stats) are admitting that there are serious problems with these numbers.


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Gillian M (218)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 1:57 pm
Since the conflict in Gaza began, many in the media have become obsessed with publishing “body count” casualty statistics, especially showing the number of Gazan civilian casualties. This data has been used to support those accusing Israel of committing “war crimes.” They say that the huge numbers of “civilian” deaths proves that Israel is being indiscriminate in its military operations.

Now both the BBC and the New York Times (which has been particularly fixated on the daily casualty stats) are admitting that there are serious problems with these numbers.

The BBC’s head of statistics Anthony Reuben, asks:

If the Israeli attacks have been ‘indiscriminate,’ as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women…
…In conclusion, we do not yet know for sure how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters. This is in no sense the fault of the UN employees collecting the figures – their statistics are accompanied by caveats and described as preliminary and subject to to revision.
But it does mean that some of the conclusions being drawn from them may be premature.
The New York Times did their own analysis.

The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll.
Just one of the problems cites by the Times is that:

Human rights groups acknowledge that people killed by Hamas as collaborators and people who died naturally, or perhaps through domestic violence, are most likely counted as well.
But how many people who have been following the conflict in the Times and seeing every day the Gazan civilian casualty figures are aware that these include those killed by Hamas?

During the last conflict in Gaza, Israel was accused of war crimes. At the time, statistics had shown a disproportionate number of civilian casualties. But analysis done after the fact proved that these statics were incorrect. At least with stories in the BBC and Times, the media are already aware that these statistics should not be relied upon.

Now we have to see if their own reporters believe what their employers have written.


Shil O (0)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 11:33 pm
The serious problems are with a media that has forsaken truth for sensationalism

Hilary S (65)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 4:58 am
i heard an american person on the radio today assuring the world that america's current air attack in iraq - far from the us - has most definitely hit only terrorist targets. "you can tell who they are because that's where the missiles are coming from," said the man. and yet obama, kerry, and much of the us press dare to criticise israel for targeting the sources of rockets fired into civilian areas of israel?

not exactly on the topic, i realise, but i have commented elsewhere on these figures, and the way that hamas has seduced foreign journalists to distort casualty figures to demonise israel.

Jordan G (37)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 8:48 pm
Hold your breath ... the haters will be along momentarily.

Billie C (2)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 10:00 pm
gee you think the news would slant things to make israel look bad? of course they would. since they have been caught how about printing large headlines stating they have been screwing israel over? how about the un standing up and telling the world they were wrong?
will never happen since muslims no matter where or how nasty they are get the good press. you can't be upsetting them

. (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:19 am
Duh gee; yah think? I guess the fact that they kill their own civilians for photo ops and political sympathies among the useful idiots in Europe, America and in Israel isn't considered objectively.
Perhaps Josef Goebbels said it best.

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
― Joseph Goebbels

“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place...”
― Joseph Goebbels

“Think of the press as a great keyboard
on which the government can play.”
― Joseph Goebbels

Past Member (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 11:22 am
It is funny how it took so long for the "media" to realize that the casualty stats are highly suspect.
Maybe the media is finally tired of being used as the Hamas propaganda ministry.
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