02/06/2012 Newswatch


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Welcome to the programme. Later - showed images showing the full


horror of last Friday's massacre in Syria be broadcast? Before that, it


has been a week with the BBC's selection of images in several


stories has come under scrutiny. Amnesty International has accused


the UN of failing to show courage matching that of the protesters in


Syria. They say the UN Security Council has been exposed as


redundant in the face of crimes against humanity being perpetrated


in the country. The problem was that that logo does not actually


represent the UN Security Council, but actually a body called the UN


Space Command. It is an entirely fictional part of a video game


series. One dealer was sympathetic. The BBC apologised for the error


and replaced the image in metropolitans. Another case of


mistaken identity was to follow. On Sunday, the corporation's website


carried a powerful photograph of a row of bodies attributed to an


actor best to illustrate a story about the massacre of more than 100


people in Houla. The picture was actually taken almost a decade ago


in Iraq. One dealer pronounced The BBC's social media editor has


published a journal about his writing. The picture was first


There were more general concerns about the coverage of the killings


in Houla. They centred on the use of pictures and are reticulated


We are going to show an example of the coverage from a report last


weekend. As you would expect, it contains some distressing images.


The people of Houla buried their dead, they quickly dubbed mass


grave as the community absorbs the brutality and shock. Distress,


disbelief, anger, video too gruesome to show in four. Women,


children, everyone in the path of Syrian troops was a target, they


say. Although some thought it was judged


too gruesome to show, what was broadcast was too much for one


With me now is a senior editor in the BBC newsroom. What do you have


to say to viewers who say the BBC has abandoned respect and


compassion? There is a process around using pictures. It is not a


case of just simply putting them out there. What I would say in the


context of these particular pictures is that some pictures are


exceptional. These pictures conveyed something of the conflict


in Syria that was absolutely exceptional, but raise lots of


questions, and if you look at the coverage this week, the


international condemnation raised after this story shows a very


strong editorial justification. what extent can you tell the story


without bringing dead bodies into people's living rooms? Television


news is about pictures as much as anything else. I understand the


sensitivities about dead bodies and we do not gratuitously put them on


air. But at the same time, in reporting a conflict, the pictures


were exceptional. Are warnings important and if so what is your


policy? Sometimes there is a warning on the first time,


sometimes not a warning. Dealers do not know what to expect. I would


worry about that as well. Warnings are absolutely important. Warnings


are integral. We should also not be casual about warnings just because


they are used sparingly. We also need to be quite careful about time


of day, the audience concerned. There is a responsibility at 6pm


and that might change in terms of the treatment at 10pm. The warning


is part and parcel with the story itself. People said it decades ago,


the BBC would God have shown such images. But would not say the


criteria has changed. The process that we have is all the same as it


has always been. I think what the viewers are experiencing is the


fact that there are a lot more images out there than they used to


be. There is a lot more material. Do we look at that material and


think, oh it is out there, should we use it? No. The idea that things


have changed in that respect, I do not think that is the case.


there a problem once the new story is over of using these pictures as


casual wallpaper over and over again? Just because it has been


sanctioned for use in an immediate news story, it does not mean that


it should be used 72 hours later in a way that just becomes


desensitised all people are using it as wallpaper or background. We


need to have people always looking at that image and thinking if they


are able to use it.!. -- thank you. What else has been


bothering BBC viewers this week? Ministers backtrack on some of the


controversial budget plans. Plans to impose VAT on hot pasties and


sausage rolls will be withdrawn. Tory MPs are relieved. It is very


good news. It will actually save money at the end of the day. The


previous proposal would have cost thousands of jobs. Plans to impose


VAT on static caravans have also changed.


Clear enough, but crop up again in the report, telling a rather


different story. The other U-turn tonight is the VAT


on static caravans. 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. Meanwhile, it is some of those


languages six -- loose language usage that bother did this the


Finally, there has been more big- name and drama at the Levison


inquiry this week, with Jeremy Hunt's appearance taking up many


hours of the news channel on Thursday. It has kept many of the


Well, Lord Justice Levison is due to report in October, so the answer


is not for a while. Thank you for your comments. Next week we plan to


look at how BBC News covers the Queen's diamond jubilee. Let us


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