As of November 27, 2015 the BBC, one of the world’s most powerful mass media outlets, still has an incomplete sketch on the details of exactly who perished in the November 13 Paris terror attacks, which French authorities say resulted 130 deaths and over 350 injuries. With its abundant staff and resources, it is unusual that the news outlet with global reach would abandon such an important story. Yet it has–as have many of its competitors.
On its page, “Paris Attacks: Who Were the Victims?” the government-sponsored broadcasting giant lists hyperlinked photo descriptions of 42 victims, and verbal descriptions of an additional 83, for a grand total of 125. That means there are five fatalities Aunt Beebe–which played a central role in publicizing the attacks throughout the world–has failed to document.
It asks online readers to provide details on those it has listed, while overlooking the five it apparently cannot account for.
In contrast, on November 27, the day the French government officially commemorated the deceased, Agence France-Presse published this graphic, but it includes the names of only 127 victims.
Other major news outlets have also run articles with incomplete listings of the deceased. For example, on November 17, 2015 CNN ran a piece with profiles of 72 deceased, while Buzzfeed posted a story, “Here are the Victims of the Paris Attacks,” with a total of only 71 profiles. Buzzfeed promised to continually update the article, but it was last revised on November 20.
The venerable Washington Post lists profiles of 123 victims yet admittedly omits the identities and biographical material on “at least seven others” for which the paper claims to have no information. The Post promises to update the page “as more information becomes available.” However, no details have been added since November 23.
In 2013 Memory Hole Blog reported how the Boston Globe failed to accurately document those injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. [“The Boston Marathon Bombing’s Inflated Injury Tallies“] In that event municipal authorities and the Boston Globe claimed there were an incredible 286 injuries. Yet the Globe could only provide information for 55 individuals who sustained injuries.