In The Media We Trust?

BBC Faces Criticism After Reporting False Information on War in Iraq

Viewers and listeners of the media are a bit concerned about the misreporting of facts surrounding the mission in Iraq.

In recent days, the BBC News media has had to apologize for incorrectly reporting on figures suggesting that a majority of Iraqi civilians have been killed by coalition and Iraqi forces than by insurgents.

Bryan Collins, 21, of Baton Rouge, LA believes the media should be penalized for the misinformation it receives.

“I say they should be fined.”

Hank Collins, 25, of Atlanta, GA feels that he can easily mistrust the media if incorrect reporting increases.

“People turn to the news to report to us what is going on over there.  So if their information is incorrect how can we watch the news and believe them, [especially] when the President himself is lying to the whole world and people can’t realize that. Yes, I lose trust in the media because if they can’t report accurate information they don’t need to be reporting news at all.”           

While there are concerns of incorrect reporting, there are still those that feel that reporters are just as human as anyone else and that room for mistakes should be allowed.

Jessica, 21 of Pensacola, FL believes that the apology from the BBC is sufficient.

“I feel mistakes happen and if we let this affect our views on the media then we will not have any way of getting information about what’s going on in the world.”

 The initial BBC report showed that 3,274 Iraqi civilians had died during the second half of 2004. 2,041 of that figure was a result of “military operations.”  The other 1,233 deaths were the result of “terrorist operations,” or insurgents.  The information was based on data the BBC received from the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health has since clarified the reported figures and stated that the term military forces referred to coalition forces, Iraqi forces and insurgents.

News of the BBC’s incorrect reporting comes on the hills of the announcement of CBS News Anchor, Dan Rather’s early retirement. Rather sought an early retirement after controversy surrounding a “60 Minutes” report on President Bush’s military record