Tuesday night* on ABC News’s “World News,” anchor Diane Sawyer introduced her network’s coverage of the latest in the violence in Gaza between Israel and Gaza: “We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel today, as Israel tried to shoot them out of the sky. All part of the tinderbox, Israelis and Palestinians.” It’s an important news story: Israel has been ratcheting up its strikes on Gaza, while Hamas has fired rockets “striking across the length of Israel and disrupting life across the country,” as the Associated Press puts it.
Given the history of this particular conflict, a premium falls on absolute precision in identifying victims. And it’s on that front that ABC News erred. Continuing with her broadcast, Sawyer showed a shot of some people amid ruins and said, “And here an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can, one woman standing speechless among the ruins. ABC’s Alex Marquardt is in the middle of it all.”
Good thing someone at ABC News is immersed in the fine points of the conflict, because whoever decided to pair Sawyer’s reference to “an Israeli family” with the photo below messed things up. That’s a Palestinian family.
ABC News has done the right thing:
On Tuesday night “World News” aired a report on the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis, including attacks from both sides. In the introduction to the story, we mistakenly identified a family depicted in a still photo. They are Palestinian, not Israeli. We regret the error and will correct it.
*Correction: Originally indicated Wednesday night.
(h/t Rania Khalek)