Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Beeb issues a 'correction'

A couple of years ago, CNN was forced to fly Eason Jordan into Israel to apologize for giving air time to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The network earned widespread condemnation by broadcasting less than a minute of an extensive interview with the wounded Israeli woman who lost her mother and daughter in an attack in Petah Tikva, and then spending several minutes talking about the plight of the suicide bomber's mother.
The BBC, it turns out, hasn't learned CNN's lesson. According to its very own website,
The BBC has issued a correction over its coverage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.... [D]ozens of people have contacted the BBC to complain about a related news item on Sunday's Breakfast programme on BBC One.
It showed footage of the suicide bomber's family in mourning but failed to show any footage of victims' families to balance the report....
In response, head of BBC television news Roger Mosey said: "The programme editors and I agree it was inappropriate to begin the report with footage of the suicide bomber's family in mourning.
"It was also inappropriate to include this footage without coverage of the suffering of the victims' families.
"Using this picture sequence in this way was a mistake. However, the report's coverage of the political ramifications of the bombing and this week's London conference was balanced and fair - and we did, of course, report fully the events in Tel Aviv in our bulletins on Friday night and Saturday."
Unfortunately, reporting the 'political ramifications' of a peace conference has nowhere near the impact on viewers as footage of a family in mourning.
In addition, what's the deal with the 'correction'? Surely an apology is in order!

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