I’ve divided them both roughly into three categories. Facts, Background and Analysis.
Reuters is the longer report. Perhaps the BBC is pushed for space, time or some other constraint, such as ‘dumbing down’ so let’s make allowances for that.
The BBC devotes about one hundred words to the ‘Facts’, but some are more emotive than essential, such as:
“The BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza City says warplanes could be heard over the Gaza Strip for more than an hour.”
Never mind. Straight to the casualty toll. The BBC has:
“At least 17 people have been injured… Palestinian medics say” whereas Reuters has
“…wounding at least 19 people….witnesses and militant groups said”
So who is telling us about the casualties? The BBC wants us to know that medics have told them, whereas Reuters call the informants “witnesses and militant groups.”
Mustn’t read too much into that though, I mean medics and militants are not mutually exclusive. Medics are back again in the BBC’s report, to say that seven children were wounded.
Reuters says: “including four militants, seven children and two women.” The BBC is not quite so interested in wounded adults for some reason.
The Background category is completely different. The BBC has 22 words of background (excluding 11 gratuitous words of the off topic Cast Lead body count) The BBC’s ‘background’ extends as far back as Saturday: “On Saturday, Palestinian militants fired dozens of mortars into southern Israel in what was reportedly their heaviest such barrage in two years.” We’ve heard that ‘dozens’ phrase somewhere before.
Reuters has much more, for example:
“About 130 such attacks had been made on Israel this year, 56 of them since Saturday, a military spokesman said.”
That sort of background is deemed too intellectually challenging for the BBC’s audience, probably.
As for Analysis, the BBC’s 30 word contribution is a platitudinous irrelevance, whereas Reuters 73 word effort would at least inspire the curious to find out more.
Anyone feeling manipulated, or is it only me?
I’m putting my ‘categorisations’ into the comments field. See if you agree.