As mentioned in some detail on BBCWatch, tomorrow (Wednesday) Donnison, and also the BBC's Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, are due to meet the Government Press Office in Israel, having been summoned there owing to that retweet, which gave the impression that a child casualty in Syria was a victim of Israel's recent counter-terrorism action against Hamas in Gaza.
As we are told elsewhere:
"Israel’s Information Ministry is exploring the possibility of denying Jon Donnison press credentials....
If denied the press credential Donnison could possibly lose the ability to work in Gaza and the West Bank as he’d find it difficult to enter each territory from Israel.
Donnison tweeted an apology the day after the initial tweet appeared: “A photo I re-tweeted from another journo yesterday showing children injured was NOT in Gaza as I said but apparently from Syria. Apologies.”
Last week Knesset Member Carmel Shama Hacohen, Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, said that the apology was not enough and suggested certain sanctions be imposed on channels whose coverage consistently “blackens the face of Israel.”
Denial of press credentials due to the nature of the press coverage is an unusual step, and it would be unlikely to hold up in the Supreme Court. In the past the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government Press Office is not permitted to deny press credentials due to the contents of journalistic work – even if it is libelous...."Beneath the BBCWatch post I comment:
'[I] it's a shame that the BBC doesn’t have the integrity to relocate him, in view of his persistent subjective “gone native” reportage. Should his credentials be revoked, the BBC will be able to claim him as a martyr to censorship. And if they are revoked, and the Supreme Court voids that step, the BBC will be able to claim him as a journalistic hero.'However, the Israelis' decision to summon him is fully justified, and if he does lose his press credentials he will have brought that on himself. The BBC must learn the hard way if necessary that it cannot libel Israel with impunity: if it won't ensure that loose cannon reporters like Donnison abide by its impartiality guidelines, it need not be surprised when those whose interests are constantly compromised by the breach of those guidelines take punitive action against him and his ilk.
To quote BBCWatch's managing editor:
"It is unfortunate that Donnison has jeopardised his career in such a manner, through his failure to adhere to the BBC’s own Editorial Guidelines on accuracy and impartiality and its existing guidance on the use of social media.
The BBC’s funding British public, as well as millions of people around the world who rely on the BBC for trustworthy information, no doubt also await the results of a BBC investigation into Donnison’s breach of his organisation’s Editorial Guidelines."[Update here]