Thursday, April 7, 2011

English lesson for Reuters

De facto: in reality; actually
-- Merriam Webster

In a story on an exchange of fire between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces following a Palestinian direct hit on an Israeli school bus with an anti-tank missile which seriously wounded a teenage boy, Reuters correspondents Nidal al-Mughrabi and Douglas Hamilton write:
Israel and Hamas had signaled readiness to return to a de facto ceasefire which has kept the border relatively quiet since the end of the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war.
As we have previously noted, there have been over five-hundred rockets and mortars fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorists since the end of the Gaza war, an attack on average two out of every three days.

Here's another definition for Reuters:

Fabrication: a product of fabrication; especially lie, falsehood

UPDATE APRIL 8th: In the most recent generation of this story, a "de facto ceasefire" has become:
Two years of low-level skirmishing on the border escalated suddenly last month when Hamas, which rules Gaza, fired a barrage of rockets at Israel, triggering a surge of fighting in which 18 Palestinians were killed.
An example of that renowned Reuters "transparency" Dean Wright was so excited about.

UPDATE APRIL 9th: In the latest iteration of the story, Reuters' al-Mughrabi and Allyn Fisher-Ilan obfuscate and regress to their previous fabrication:
Two years of periodic, low-level skirmishing on the border escalated suddenly last month when Hamas showered rockets on Israel. Hamas had largely withheld fire since a Gaza war in late 2008 in which 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
Tip for Reuters correspondents: reporting the facts requires much less energy (and fewer revisions).

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