The Guardian has removed a video from its website showing a suicide bomb attack in Israel after more than 550 complaints were made about the footage.
The piece, which was selected from a package of footage and text supplied to the paper by Reuters, showed the wounded being taken to hospital, as well as statements from the Palestinian agriculture minister and a Hamas spokesman. It was removed four days after being posted to the site.
Writing about the decision to remove the video from the site, Siobhain Butterworth, readers’ editor, says most traffic to the video came from the site Honest Reporting, which criticised the lack of an Israeli spokesperson in the footage.
In response Butterworth points out that at the time no Israeli sources featured in the Reuters package.
She also directs complainants, readers and Honest Reporting to the paper’s other online coverage of the event:
“Honest Reporting linked only to the video; it ignored the rest of the Guardian’s coverage. It didn’t mention that the story published on the day of the bombing (and which the video accompanied) began with comments from the Israeli prime minister and included statements from an eyewitness, a doctor at the scene and a police spokesman. Stories about the event in the following days also included statements from Israeli sources.”
However, with regards to the video in question, Butterworth admits there was ‘an editing error’, which may have lead to a perceived Palestinian bias. While this was the reason the piece was removed, this was not ‘a deliberate attempt to give a one-sided response to the event’, she adds.