On August 10, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) The World Today radio program interviewed a representative from Oxfam on the topic of Gaza’s electricity crisis. (You can listen to the interview here.)
While the interview was not controversial, why is it that the ABC transcript of host Eleanor Hall’s introduction does not match what she actually said? Specifically, why was a statement that made it clear that Israel was not solely responsible for cutting off Gaza’s electricity edited out?
Here’s how Hall introduced the segment:
The charity Oxfam has issued an urgent call to the international community to help with an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In June the Israeli government cut electricity supply to the Gaza Strip at the request of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. Gaza’s two million residents now have just two hours of power a day.
Anthea Spinks is the Associate Director of international programs at Oxfam Australia and she recently returned from Gaza.
Compare the above, which specifically mentions the PA’s role in the electricity cut, with the transcript of that intro as published on the ABC website.
It is worth noting that a transcript is usually a record of what was broadcast verbatim as opposed to a teaser, which is a body of text “intended to arouse interest or curiosity especially in something to follow.” In this case, ABC clearly labels it a transcript, which it provides only for the introduction and not the full interview itself:
While Eleanor Hall specifically mentioned that Israel cut the electricity supply to Gaza at the request of the Palestinian Authority, the transcript has removed that vital piece of context making it appear that Israel is solely responsible for the electricity crisis.
Interview: “In June the Israeli government cut electricity supply to the Gaza Strip at the request of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.”
Transcript: “The Israeli government cut electricity supply to the Gaza Strip in June,as part of efforts to cripple the ruling Hamas government.”
Granted, the transcript may not have as wide a reach as the interview itself but questions need to be asked as to why an ABC editor felt it acceptable to make such a glaring change and is this an isolated incident or indicative of a wider problem of creative editing?
Originally posted on August 14, 2017 at HonestReporting.com