Egypt State Information Service (SIS)
SIS: Reuters & BBC adopt official death toll of security personnel killed in El-Wahat crime
Tuesday، 31 October 2017 - 01:45 PM
On Saturday 21 October, the State Information Service (SIS) issued a strongly worded statement protesting the coverage by both Reuters News Agency and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of the terrorist crime perpetrated in El-Wahat on Friday 20 October.
Following the statement, two official letters were sent by SIS Chairman Diaa Rashwan to the bureau chiefs of both institutions in Egypt requesting that they issue a correction of inaccuracies and exaggeration regarding the number of security personnel killed in the incident in their breaking news and subsequent coverage. The letters requested that they correct their error in accordance with the statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, which stated that 16 security personnel were killed and one was missing, in addition to identifying the victims.
The SIS had since maintained direct contact with the bureau chiefs of Reuters and the BBC in Egypt in an effort to ensure accuracy and internationally recognized principles of ethical journalism as part of the SIS’ mission to facilitate the work of all accredited foreign correspondents in Egypt.
The SIS’ efforts led to both institutions recognizing the official death toll of 16 victims in line with the figures provided by the Ministry of Interior, which have been confirmed to be correct.
The BBC recognized the accurate death toll in a report on 27 October entitled “13 militants killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces on Wahat road.” Reuters followed suit on 28 October in a report titled “Egypt announces reshuffle in top security ranks.”
On 29 October, SIS Chairman Rashwan received separately at his office Reuters bureau chief in Egypt Patrick Markey and BBC bureau chief in Egypt Akram Shaaban, where they engaged in a frank and constructive discussion stressing the commitment of the SIS as well as both international media institutions to abiding by the established considerations and guidelines governing the work of press and media institutions.
Chairman Rashwan reiterated the SIS’ continued keenness to ensure the widest margin of freedom for, and the provision of timely information to, all press and media institutions, national and foreign alike.
At the end of both meetings, Mr. Rashwan considered the adoption of the official death toll in subsequent reporting by both Reuters and BBC to be a correction and a logical resort to official sources, which carry the greatest authority in this regard.31/10/2017