On the PM program, Karen Barlow stated:
"The damage to Gaza's buildings is clear to see. Tens of thousands have been levelled or will have to be bulldozed."This unsourced statement about the number of destroyed buildings is not good enough. Says who? Certainly not the UN - as the BBC reported:
"UN official John Ging said half a million people had been without water since the conflict began, and huge numbers of people were without power.
Four thousand homes are ruined and tens of thousands of people are homeless."
Dear MM (with MM's responses in brackets)
Thank you for your email. (No sweat, don't mention it.) The ABC acknowledges your concern with this report and agrees the reporter's statement should have been attributed. The figure was sourced from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. I have attached a link to the site for your reference.
(Oooh er, sounds official! Hang on a moment 17,000 from their own bodgy figures are partially damaged, not "will have to be levelled or destroyed". The link says 17,000 buildings were partially damaged to a total value of US$82 million - that is average damage to a value of around $4,800. You have taken figures from a dubious organisation, not acknowledged the source, and then lied or exaggerated about them.)
An editor's note has been attached to the online transcript of the report alerting the audience to this fact. (According to the source of the story, your report is wrong - how about you alert the audience to this fact.)
The ABC notes that at the time of this report, no other alternative or independent estimate of structural damage in Gaza was available, owing to Israel's refusal to allow access into Gaza during its offensive.
(Why is it that Egypt is not also responsible? - they have a border with Gaza - your bias is showing. And are you saying that Karen Barlow was never in Gaza when she made the report? She said the "damage is clear to see". WTF?)
Thank you for allowing the ABC the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs
(Spare us the faux politeness. See you at the Complaints Review Committee, dickwad.)