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Those live pictures coming from the Elysee Palace. Now it is time for
Newswatch. This week, the choice of Welcome to Newswatch. Later in the
programme - should images show the full horror of last week's massacre
in Syria be broadcast? First, there was this. And as the International
has accused the United Nations failing to show leadership matching
the courage of protesters in Syria. Amnesty says the UN Security
Council has been exposed as redundant in the face of crimes
against humanity being perpetrated in the country. That a logo does
not represent the UN Security Council, but a body called the UN
Space Command, formed in the 22nd century, led by Lord Hood. A
fictional part of a game series called the halo. One viewer was
The BBC apologised for the error and replace the image in later
bulletins. But another case of mistaken identity was to follow. On
Sunday the website carried a powerful photograph of a row of
bodies attributed to an activist. To illustrate a story about the
massacre of more than 100 people near the silly and -- Syrian town
of Houla. But the picture was taken almost a decade ago by a
The BBC's social media editor, Chris Hamilton, has published a
There were more general concerns about the coverage of the killings
in Houla. Again on the use of pictures and articulated here by
We are going to show an example now of the recovery urge from a report
of the recovery urge from a report by Humphrey Hawksley last weekend.
It does contain some distressing images.
The people of Houla buried their dead. They quickly dug mass grave
as the community absorbs the brutality and shock. Distress,
disbelief and anger. A video too gruesome to show in false. Women,
children, everyone in the path of Syrian troops was in the path -- a
target they say. What was broadcast was too much for
With me now is Jawed Iqbal, a senior editor in the BBC newsroom.
What do you say to viewers such as Mary Giles, who says the BBC has
abandoned respect and compassion? There is a process around using
pictures. It is not a case of gratuitously putting them out there.
What I would say in the context of these particular pictures, some are
exceptional. They conveyed something of the conflict in Syria
that it was exceptional. It raised lots of questions and if you look
at the coverage this week, the international condemnation of these
images and some of the diplomatic behaviour subsequent to that
broadcast, is the way the story has developed and moved. There is a
strong editorial justification. what extent can you tell the story
and the importance of the story without bringing dead bodies into
people's living rooms? Television news is about pictures as much as
anything else. I understand the sensitivity of dead bodies and we
do not gratuitously put them out, but at the same time in reporting a
conflict and reporting this incident, the pictures were
exceptional. Our warnings important? If so, what is your
policy? Sometimes there is a warning on the first time,
sometimes there is under a warning. Viewers don't know what to expect.
Warnings are they keep part of the treatment and are important. We
would expect with the use of disturbing or harrowing images,
viewers should know these images are about to be broadcast. Warnings
are integral and we shouldn't be casual about them, just because we
use them in the first instance, does not mean 24 hours later we
shouldn't use the warning again. We need to be careful about the time
of day, the outlook concerns... Children watching? Absolutely. You
know there is a responsibility at 6pm. That might change at 10pm.
Some say decades ago the BBC wouldn't have shown such pictures.
Has your criteria changed and are they influenced by an the internet
showing everything, essentially? wouldn't say the criteria has
changed. The process we have, the rigour, the process and selection
is always the same as it has always been. Viewers are seeing images and
there are more images out there than there has been. We still think,
what is the justification? What do people expect the BBC to do? The
idea things have changed in that respect, I don't think that is the
case. Is there a problem when the news story is over, using these
pictures as casual wallpaper over and over again? Just because an
image has been sanctioned for use in an immediate news story, does
not mean 72 hours later the image should be used in a way that has
been desensitised or as wallpaper or background. We need to have
people and teams are looking at that image and thinking, are we
right to use it? Do we need to warn people about it? Is it still
justified as part of the storytelling.
Jawed Iqbal, thanks very much. What else has been bothering you?
News at Ten started with a couple of Government U-turns.
Minister has backtracked on some of controversial budget plans. Plans
to impose VAT on pasties are to be withdrawn. It is common sense, it
will save money at the end of the day. The previous proposal would
have cost thousands of jobs. Plans to levy VAT on static caravans have
also changed. Clear enough, but the quote from
David Davis cropped up again in Nick Robinson's story. The other U-
turn is on static holiday caravans. They were going to have to pay 20%
VAT, but a new special 5% rate will be levied. The it is very good news.
It is common sense, it will actually save money at the end of
the day. The previous proposal would have cost thousands of jobs.
Peter Heaton-Jones from Swindon Meanwhile, it is some loose
language usage that has been Finally, there has been more big
names and drama at Leveson Inquiry, with Jeremy Hunt's appearance
taking a many hours of the news channel on Thursday. It kept many
Well, Lord Justice Leveson is due to report in October. So the answer