BBC admits they shouldn't have put 'hostages' in quotes in coverage of Texas hostage siege

A tweet referred to the captives as ‘hostages’ – in speech marks


 The BBC has admitted to shortfalls in its initial coverage of the Colleyville siege.

More than five hours after Akram launched the siege that ended with his death, the BBC was still referring to his captives as ‘hostages’ - in speech marks.

The initial BBC report on the drama has since been taken down from the BBC news website, but a tweet flagging the story remains. It reads: “Texas police respond to ‘hostage’ situation.”

The tweeted summary of the online article continued: “Police are negotiating with a man who appears to have taken hostages at a synagogue in Colleyville.”

The BBC's early coverage of the stand-off was met with bafflement by some followers. One, alanldn19, responded to the tweet: “Why is the word hostage in quotes?”

A BBC spokesperson said: “This was a developing news story which we edited and revised throughout the night.

“We initially used quote marks in the headline because the reports were unconfirmed, and we should have removed them earlier than we did, when we first updated the story with confirmation from officials that this was a hostage situation. This was an oversight in the editing process due to a busy news cycle. This story is currently the lead item on our news website.”

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