Dawn’s fake news of Boris Johnson’s death sums up standards of Journalism

Raza Dotani
By Raza Dotani - Learner 2 Min Read
Boris Johnson Death Fake News

Pakistan’s credible channel Dawn News killed off UK prime minister Boris Johnson while quoting a fake BBC Twitter account.

A fake twitter account ‘BBC Breaking News’ with the handle @bbcbreaki was found to have tweeted that the prime minister has died of the novel Coronavirus. Dawn news rushed to report it.


Not only Dawn News but a Pakistani journalist Omer Quraishi had also tweeted ‘Boris Johnson’s Death,’ but soon after he understood the ‘fake news’, he deleted his tweet.

Omer Quraishi Tweet

Twitter suspended the ‘fake account’ which had the BBC logo and a few hundred followers. The tweet was retweeted by over 500 users before it was being taken down.

Not only Pakistani journalists and channels but the fake tweet was also retweeted hundreds of times before being deleted, including by verified journalists in Canada and Australia, according to a Face checking organization Full Fact.

It was really a ‘grave misreporting’ by Dawn News which is considered one of the most credible and authentic news sources in Pakistan. This time the channel showed a huge lack of non-professionalism and irresponsibility.

Dawn News, unfortunately, has summed up the standards of journalism particularly electronic media in Pakistan, who are always rushing to report news without checking proper tools and facts.

Even a common person, could recognize a fake profile over social media which fakes a big news source like BBC. Nevertheless, the people at Dawn News were careless to check the authenticity of a ‘fake tweet’.

Social Media users called out Dawn News for the grave fake reporting and punning news.

Like many other countries, one of the most dangerous traditions followed by Pakistani media is to ‘misreport’ for the sake of rating. Here is why a user felt her head bowed in shame.

Dawn's fake news of Boris Johnson's death sums up standards of Journalism 1

Journalist Wajahat Kazmi who is also a former reporter of Dawn News called it ‘some next level shit’.

Another user blamed DAWN for imitating other channels, allegedly under Army’s control.

A user suggested to rename Dawn as Damn and also grabbed ARY news channel something else.

Journalist Omer Qureshi also criticised Dawn News for misreporting while distancing himself from his earlier deleted tweet.

The prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in central London with “persistent symptoms” of Covid-19 on Sunday and was moved to intensive care on Monday evening after his symptoms worsened.

He tweeted about his health and said that he had done for the routine tests while still experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19.

Social media platforms are fighting against fake news and misinformation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak across the world. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms have been taking down pages and profiles spreading fake news.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in articles and blogs on Aware Pakistan are solely those of the authors and do not represent the official stance of the website. We are not liable for the accuracy of information provided by authors.

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By Raza Dotani Learner
IVLP fellow, a maverick blogger, promoting youth and women's empowerment — activist advocating for civic voices and digital literacy, — and entrepreneur helping businesses thrive online.
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