The BBC has accepted that the Community Security Trust did not provide ‘verification of the existence’ of an anti-Muslim slur during their investigation into their reporting of the Chanukah bus incident on Oxford Street.
In an ‘update and clarification’ published on Thursday, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit (ECU) confirmed they did not wish to imply the CST had confirmed the existence of the comment.
The ECU’s clarification said: “The responsibility for such verification rests with the BBC journalists and managers responsible for the story.
Furthermore, the update stated that the CST “also request that the BBC make clear that they were not pro-actively releasing or initiating use of the video by the media and had acted during this incident as a conduit between the media and the students on the bus.”
It also stated that the ECU is aware that the BBC “had contact with other sources separate from the CST who were able to verify that the video represented the incident in question.”
The ECU also said: “The CST have asked the ECU to reflect that their concern during this exchange was not on confirming or disputing the claim, but on putting the case that, even if a slur had been uttered, there were insufficient grounds for the BBC to refer to it in reports of the incident; we are happy to accept the CST’s account of its position.
“We acknowledge that the BBC may well have arrived at a decision to include the claim irrespective of their engagement with the CST, though this is not a point which the ECU investigation had occasion to address.”
Last month the CST were left furious after the findings of an investigation into the BBC’s reporting of anti-Muslim slurs suggested the Corporation had heard them in the video footage of the incident.
In a statement, the organisation said: “CST completely rejects the claim in today’s BBC report that CST confirmed to the BBC on 2nd December that an anti-Muslim phrase had been spoken on the Chabad bus that was attacked on Oxford Street.
“The BBC’s claim is a completely misleading representation of the exchanges between the BBC and CST on that day. CST informed the BBC of this before today’s report was published but they have gone ahead anyway. Their behaviour is appalling and deeply damaging.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.