BBC Trust: “no evidence” that presenter’s Facebook images brought BBC into disrepute

The BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) has declined to hear a complaint arguing that Facebook images posted by Trust Me I’m a Doctor presenter Dr Saleyha Ahsan brought the BBC into disrepute.

The images, taken in Libya in 2011, include some in which Dr Ahsan poses with an armed unit which appears to include an adolescent. Others showing a captive in the Libya conflict would appear to potentially be in breach of international humanitarian law. All of the images were removed from Dr Ahsan’s Facebook account subsequent to the complaint being lodged.

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Dr Ahsan poses with an armed unit in Libya in 2011. The seated boy in grey, clearly an adolescent, would appear to be an active member of the unit (see also following image).


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Picture39prisonerblocked

Other images from the same Facebook album would appear to breach international law protecting civilians and prisoners from acts exposing them to public curiosity. Note that the images as originally posted by Dr Ahsan did not conceal the captive’s face. All of the images at issue were removed from Dr Ahsan’s Facebook account subsequent to the complaint being made to the BBC.


Picture40prisonerblocked

The Committee’s decision, which is final, has been published in the December 2015/January 2016 edition of the ESC’s bulletin (pp 16-19) and is reproduced below.

In an earlier decision BBC Audience Services had noted that no criminal charges had been brought against Dr Ahsan in relation to the publication of her Facebook photographs and judged that her employment as a presenter did not break “any of our guidelines on Impartiality or Conflicts of Interest and there are no grounds to exclude her from presenting our programmes.”

In response to an appeal to the BBC Trust, the Trust Adviser noted that the Facebook photographs were no longer publicly available and that, as Dr Ahsan “did not have a high media profile, was not a well-known ‘personality’, and had parallel careers in medicine and drama”, she was “unlikely to be closely associated with the BBC in the public mind.”

In considering a request for a review of the Trust Adviser’s decision, the Editorial Standards Committee observed that “the issue in front of them was whether the decision by BBC Audience Services to decline to enter into further correspondence was correct on the basis that the Editorial Guidelines had not been breached.” In rejecting the review request the Committee concluded that

There was no evidence to suggest that the external activities of the presenter had brought the BBC into disrepute or could undermine the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity or independence of BBC output.

Picture2

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, presenter of BBC 2’s Trust Me, I’m a Doctor


The complaint had also raised concerns about the UK registered charity Hand in Hand for Syria, for whom Dr Ahsan had been filmed volunteering in the 2013 BBC Panorama special ‘Saving Syria’s Children‘.

While the Charity Commission has determined that there is insufficient “verifiable evidence” to substantiate concerns that Hand in Hand for Syria is “celebrating or supporting violence”, recently discovered images show a Hand in Hand for Syria hospital staff member posing with a shocking array of weaponry.

A number of perplexing contradictions in accounts by Dr Ahsan of the events featured in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ are noted here.

Previous complaints correspondence:

The final decision of the ESC, received 7 March 2016, is below.


Decision of BBC Audience Services not to respond further to a complaint about a health related documentary aired on BBC One, in 2015

Background

The complaint concerned a health documentary which was broadcast on BBC One in 2015. 

Complaint

The complainant made a number of allegations regarding the external activities of the programme’s presenter, which the complainant believed had brought the BBC into disrepute. These allegations were set out in detail in the complainant’s correspondence.

The complainant asserted that the presenter’s external activities breached editorial guideline 15.4.5 which states that “the external activities of BBC editorial staff […] should not bring the BBC into disrepute” because:

  • The presenter had breached the law by posting photographs of armed conflict online.
  • The presenter did not display an appropriate level of concern for those caught up in armed conflict.
  • The presenter had links to two charities that the complainant believed to be disreputable.

BBC Audience Services made the following points in response to the complainant:

  • The presenter was a practising doctor, and was already part of the presenting team for another health series.
  • The documentary in question was commissioned by BBC Science, alongside another documentary, for BBC One. It was felt appropriate for both programmes to have a presenter with medical expertise, and in both cases a presenter from the health series was selected.
  • A primary consideration in selecting this presenter was the presenter’s particular interest in the subject, having previously presented related items for the health series. Furthermore, the presenter was prepared to undergo medical tests on camera, the results of which would give the audience insights into the body.
  • In the event, the presenter delivered the programme content with the mix of authority and personal engagement that was required to make the subject accessible to a non-specialist audience.
  • No criminal charges had been brought against the presenter in relation to the publication of photographs online, and no judgments had been issued against her. Any such proceedings would be taken into account when considering a presenter’s suitability for a role.
  • The presenter’s role as a presenter did not break any Editorial Guidelines on Impartiality or Conflicts of Interest, and there were no grounds to exclude the presenter from BBC programmes.

The complainant wrote to the BBC Trust following a further response from Audience Services which stated that they had nothing further to add and that they did not believe the complaint had raised an issue that justified further investigation.

Appeal to the BBC Trust

The complainant appealed to the BBC Trust on the substance of his complaint.

The Trust Adviser’s decision

The Trust Adviser (the Adviser) understood that BBC Audience Services had ceased handing this complaint at Stage 1 and had not offered him the opportunity to seek a further response at stage 2 and so the point she should consider was whether the complainant’s appeal against the decision of Audience Services not to correspond further had a reasonable prospect of success – she decided it did not for the following reasons:

  • She noted that the complainant had made no complaint of a breach of editorial standards arising from the content of the output in question. Instead, he had made allegations that were not directly related to the output. He had also sought to revive a complaint that had previously been considered by the ESC.
  • In her view, decisions about the choice of presenter concerned the direction of the BBC’s editorial and creative output, and were therefore not a matter for the Trust, unless they gave rise to a potential breach of the Editorial Guidelines.
  • The Adviser also noted the allegation that the presenter’s external activities had breached Editorial Guideline 15.4.5 and brought the BBC into disrepute, however:

–  the photographs that were the subject of complaint were no longer publicly available online and, in any event, the presenter had not been charged, prosecuted or convicted in connection with the publication of any of those photographs. Until the legality had been determined in a court of law the allegation that the presenter had breached humanitarian law was unproven.

– the charity had not been charged, prosecuted or convicted in connection with any alleged illegal activity, and there was no evidence that, when working as a doctor for the charity, the presenter had engaged in any illegal activity.

– the presenter did not have a high media profile and had parallel careers in medicine and drama, so was unlikely to be closely associated with the BBC in the public mind. Furthermore, viewers of health programmes such as the documentary at issue would be likely to associate the presenter primarily with previous appearances on health programmes, and would be unlikely to be aware of, or concerned with, the presenter’s interests outside work.

– the Adviser believed Trustees would be likely to conclude that the presenter’s lawful personal activities (including online activity, charitable work and political affiliations) had no significant bearing on the public’s perception of the BBC and did not give rise to any potential breach of the Editorial Guidelines. The Adviser also believed that Trustees would be likely to conclude that the content of the fictional work written by the presenter was not relevant to this appeal, and that the complainant had not provided any credible evidence of the presenter’s alleged lack of concern for the physical and psychological wellbeing of those caught up in armed conflict.

  • Overall, Trustees would be likely to decide there was no evidence that the presenter had undermined the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity or independence of BBC output or, through any external activities, had brought the BBC into disrepute.

On this basis, the Adviser replied to the complainant and said that in her view the appeals did not have a reasonable prospect of success and it was not appropriate, proportionate or cost-effective to proceed with the appeal.

Request for review by Trustees

The complainant requested that the Trustees review the decision not to proceed with his appeal. He said that:

  • The photographs had been available for some years up to September 2015
  • The Adviser’s decision said that the allegation that the presenter had breached humanitarian law was unproven yet later took the clear view that the publication was legal
  • He referred to a memorandum provided by a human rights lawyer he had submitted which he said the Adviser had not viewed
  • The Adviser had said that there was no evidence that the charity had engaged in illegal activity but the complainant referred to a complaint he had submitted to the Charity Commission which was being investigated and he had submitted additional photos
  • The other arguments by the Adviser (regarding the presenter’s lack of a high media profile; that viewers would associate the presenter with previous appearances rather than any outside work; that the presenter’s lawful personal activities had no significant bearing on the public’s perception of the BBC and did not give rise to any potential breach of the Editorial Guidelines), all seemed beside the point.
  • He considered he had advanced evidence that supported his allegation that the presenter had breached international humanitarian law and that such an action did threaten to undermine the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity or independence of BBC output.

The Panel’s decision

A panel of the Committee noted the points made by the complainant, the BBC and the Adviser and all of the documentation provided in support of his complaint, including the memorandum provided by a human rights lawyer. 

The Trustees noted that the issue in front of them was whether the decision by BBC Audience Services to decline to enter into further correspondence was correct on the basis that the Editorial Guidelines had not been breached.

Trustees agreed that if they took this matter on appeal they would not be likely to uphold the complaint given that:

The presenter had not been charged, prosecuted or convicted in connection with the publication of any of the photographs or in regard to work for the charity

  • The charity concerned had not been charged, prosecuted or convicted in relation to illegal activity. Trustees did not consider that the fact of a complaint submitted to the Charities Commission by the complainant himself sufficient evidence, especially in the absence of any adverse finding by the Commission (which was the appropriate body to investigate such matters).
  • There was no evidence to suggest that the external activities of the presenter had brought the BBC into disrepute or could undermine the public’s perception of the impartiality, integrity or independence of BBC output.
  • The complainant had received a reasoned and reasonable response to his complaint.

The Panel therefore decided that this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration.

Information Commissioner’s Office rejects appeal for ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ documents

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a decision not to uphold my Freedom of Information request for documents pertaining to the September 2013 BBC One Panorama programme ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.

This follows the BBC’s rejection of my initial request and my subsequent appeal to the ICO.

The ICO’s decision notice has been published on its website and is reproduced below under the terms of the ICO’s guidance on copyright and re-use of materials.


Reference: FS50617034

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Decision notice

Date: 30 March 2016

Public Authority: British Broadcasting Corporation

Address: Room BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre, White City, Wood Lane, London W12 7TP

Decision (including any steps ordered)


1. The complainant has requested information relating to the September 2013 BBC One Panorama programme Saving Syria’s Children (SSC) and related BBC News reports. The BBC explained that the information was covered by the derogation and excluded from FOIA.

2. The Commissioner’s decision is that this information was held by the BBC for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature’ and did not fall within the scope of FOIA. He therefore upholds the BBC’s position and requires no remedial steps to be taken in this case.


3. On 14 January 2016 the complainant sent the following information request to the BBC:

1. All internal BBC communications, documents and reports relating to the commissioning, planning and production of SSC.

2. All subsequent internal BBC communications, documents and reports pertaining to SSC and related BBC News reports.

3. All internal BBC communications, documents and reports pertaining to complaints made by myself and others about SSC and related BBC News reports.

4. All video footage shot by [named individual] of the aftermath of the alleged incendiary attack on “The Iqraa Institute“, Urm Al-Kubra, Aleppo, Syria, on 26 August 2013, sections of which were broadcast in SSC and related BBC News reports.

5. All footage and still images shot by members of the SSC team (including reporter [named individual], cameraman [named individual] and BBC News security personnel) on 26 August 2013, retaining time codes.

6. All footage and still images shot by members of the SSC team (including reporter [named individual], cameraman [named individual] and BBC News security personnel) on a subsequent visit to “The Iqraa Institute”, Urm Al-Kubra, Aleppo, Syria on 28 August 2013, retaining time codes.

7. All correspondence between BBC personnel and the personnel, executives and trustees of the charity Hand in Hand for Syria during the planning and production of SSC and all subsequent related correspondence.

8. All correspondence between BBC personnel and [named individual] during the planning and production of SSC and all subsequent related correspondence.

9. All correspondence between BBC personnel and SSC fixer/translator [named individual] during the planning and production of SSC and all subsequent related correspondence.

10. Recordings or transcripts of interviews with members of the SSC team conducted by the BBC Trust Unit’s Independent Editorial Adviser (IEA).

11. A recording or transcript of the IEA’s interview with freelance journalist [named individual].

12. All other recordings or transcripts, correspondence, documents and reports pertaining to investigations and deliberations at Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the BBC complaints process in respect of complaints made by myself and others about SSC and related BBC News reports.

13. All correspondence between BBC personnel, including SSC fixer/translator [named individual], and the Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital in Antakya, Turkey, relating to the SSC team’s attempts to secure permission to film inside the unit.

14. All correspondence between the BBC’s Istanbul Producer and Turkish health officials relating to the SSC team’s attempts to secure permission to film inside the Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital.

15. All correspondence between BBC personnel and Human Rights Watch (HRW) in respect of the alleged incidents of 26 August 2013, including the chain of correspondence between the BBC and HRW commencing on 29 August 2013 and any appended reports and the IEA’s correspondence with the Advocacy Director of HRW’s Arms Division.

16. All correspondence between BBC personnel and UK and foreign state agencies relating to the planning and production of SSC and all subsequent related correspondence.

4. On 26 January 2016 the BBC responded to the request. The BBC explained that it did not believe that the information was caught by FOIA because it was held for the purposes of ‘art, journalism or literature’.

Scope of the case


5. The complainant contacted the Commissioner on 11 February 2016 to complain about the way his request for information had been handled.

6. The Commissioner considers the scope of the case is to determine whether the information requested is excluded from FOIA because it would be held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature’.

Reasons for decision


7. Schedule One, Part VI of FOIA provides that the BBC is a public authority for the purposes of FOIA but only has to deal with requests for information in some circumstances. The entry relating to the BBC states:

“The British Broadcasting Corporation, in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature.”

8. This means that the BBC has no obligation to comply with part I to V of the Act where information is held for ‘purposes of journalism, art or literature’. The Commissioner calls this ‘the derogation’.

9. The scope of the derogation was considered by the Court of Appeal in the case Sugar v British Broadcasting Corporation and another [2010] EWCA Civ 715, and later, on appeal, by the Supreme Court (Sugar (Deceased) v British Broadcasting Corporation [2012] UKSC 4). The leading judgment in the Court of Appeal case was made by Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR who stated that:

“ ….. once it is established that the information sought is held by the BBC for the purposes of journalism, it is effectively exempt from production under FOIA, even if the information is also held by the BBC for other purposes.” (paragraph 44), and that “….provided there is a genuine journalistic purpose for which the information is held, it should not be subject to FOIA.” (paragraph 46)

10. The Supreme Court endorsed this approach and concluded that if the information is held for the purpose of journalism, art or literature, it is caught by the derogation even if that is not the predominant purpose for holding the information in question.

11. In order to establish whether the information is held for a derogated purpose, the Supreme Court indicated that there should be a sufficiently direct link between at least one of the purposes for which the BBC holds the information (ignoring any negligible purposes) and the fulfilment of one of the derogated purposes. This is the test that the Commissioner will apply.

12. If a sufficiently direct link is established between the purposes for which the BBC holds the information and any of the three derogated purposes – i.e. journalism, art or literature – it is not subject to FOIA.

13. The Supreme Court said that the Information Tribunal’s definition of journalism (in Sugar v Information Commissioner (EA/2005/0032, 29 August 2006)) as comprising three elements, continues to be Authoritative.

“1. The first is the collecting or gathering, writing and verifying of materials for publication.
2. The second is editorial. This involves the exercise of judgement on issues such as:
* the selection, prioritisation and timing of matters for broadcast or publication,
* the analysis of, and review of individual programmes,
* the provision of context and background to such programmes.
3. The third element is the maintenance and enhancement of the standards and quality of journalism (particularly with respect to accuracy, balance and completeness). This may involve the training and development of individual journalists, the mentoring of less experienced journalists by more experienced colleagues, professional supervision and guidance, and reviews of the standards and quality of particular areas of programme making.” However, the Supreme Court said this definition should be extended to include the act of broadcasting or publishing the relevant material. This extended definition should be adopted when applying the ‘direct link test’.

14. The Supreme Court also explained that “journalism” primarily means the BBC’s “output on news and current affairs”, including sport, and that “journalism, art or literature” covers the whole of the BBC’s output to the public (Lord Walker at paragraph 70). Therefore, in order for the information to be derogated and so fall outside FOIA, there should be a sufficiently direct link between the purpose(s) for which the information is held and the production of the BBC’s output and/or the BBC’s journalistic or creative activities involved in producing such output.

15. The information that has been requested in this case is information relating to the September 2013 BBC One Panorama programme Saving Syria’s Children (SSC) and related BBC News reports.

16. The Commissioner considers that the requested information is directly related to the BBC’s output as it relates to planning and production of a programme that was aired on the BBC in September 2013. In particular it relates to the gathering and collecting of material for broadcast and any reviews of the standards and quality of the production on the back of any complaints received.

17. Having applied the approach to the derogation set out by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, which is binding, the Commissioner is satisfied that the requested information falls under the definition of ‘journalism, art or literature’ and is therefore derogated. The derogation is engaged as soon as the information is held by the BBC to any extent for journalistic purposes.

18. The Commissioner has therefore found that the request is for information held for the purposes of journalism and that the BBC was not obliged to comply with Parts I to V of FOIA.

Right of appeal


19. Either party has the right to appeal against this decision notice to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights). Information about the appeals process may be obtained from:

First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights)

GRC & GRP Tribunals,

PO Box 9300,

LEICESTER,

LE1 8DJ

Tel: 0300 1234504

Fax: 0870 739 5836

Email: GRC@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/general-regulatory-chamber

20. If you wish to appeal against a decision notice, you can obtain information on how to appeal along with the relevant forms from the Information Tribunal website.

21. Any Notice of Appeal should be served on the Tribunal within 28 (calendar) days of the date on which this decision notice is sent.

 

Signed ………………………………………………

Pamela Clements

Group Manager

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF


Information Commissioner’s Office, Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) Decision Notice, reference: FS50617034, 30 March 2016, licensed under the Open Government Licence.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan: contradictions in accounts of alleged incendiary bomb attack

Contradictions in accounts of the alleged Urm Al-Kubra incendiary bomb attack notably occur between various testimonies provided by Dr Saleyha Ahsan and between Dr Ahsan’s testimonies and those of others present at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013.

Some of the most striking and perplexing instances are presented below. See links in the captions for full references.

  • For a related presentation of inconsistencies in accounts of the alleged Aleppo school bombing by BBC International Correspondent Ian Pannell see here.
  • For more on Dr Ahsan’s involvement in the 2013 BBC Panorama special ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and her personal relationship with an army officer who runs large-scale, highly sophisticated injury simulation training exercises, see this recent presentation for Frome Stop War. 

Hand in Hand for Syria hospital staff member poses with cornucopia of armaments

Update, 18 May 2016: the majority of the images below have been removed from Iessa Obied’s Facebook account

See also:


Your ref: C-422596-R6Y5

Dear Mrs Edwards

Thank you for your response of 5 February 2016 to my complaint about the registered charity Hand in Hand for Syria.

You state that the Commission is not satisfied that there is “sufficient verifiable evidence” to substantiate my concerns that Hand in Hand for Syria is “celebrating or supporting violence”.

I wish to draw your attention to photographs published on the Facebook account of Iessa Obied. Mr Obied works at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo, described by Hand in Hand for Syria as its “flagship medical facility”. Mr Obied is the brother of Abdulrahman Obied, who has described himself as Atareb Hospital’s Medical Director. [1]

Images 1 – 10 below show Iessa Obied posing with a cornucopia of armaments. Images 11 – 17 show him wearing a Hand in Hand for Syria tunic. Images 10 and 18 – 19 celebrate “martyrs” from the armed opposition in Syria. All the images below are viewable on Mr Obied’s Facebook account at the time of writing. I have provided links both to the original Facebook posts and to screengrabs of each post.

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1) http://on.fb.me/1TRtXQJ http://bit.ly/1Rp9iwC

526776_382055075209242_1141939976_n

2) http://on.fb.me/1SWbAsL http://bit.ly/1pqQBlV

22011_404057606342322_1611978259_n

3) http://on.fb.me/1pqIOV6 http://bit.ly/1RnfknS

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4) http://on.fb.me/21xC1oV http://bit.ly/1U9BBq1

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5) http://on.fb.me/1RRbKwC http://bit.ly/256QsEO

10052_442705699144179_1870502390_n

6) http://on.fb.me/1MpHKG8 http://bit.ly/1U9BE53

165453_442705215810894_2129811598_n

7) http://on.fb.me/1pwE6G6 http://bit.ly/1pwK0qC

1098417_497223703692378_1796085814_n

8) http://on.fb.me/1MpHJlz http://bit.ly/22pILYf

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9) http://on.fb.me/1nRBRLF http://bit.ly/1twzq4R

1492513_546287972119284_1278398458_o

10) http://on.fb.me/1pwEbJV http://bit.ly/1WtRswZ

1014225_500898483324900_88785509_n (2)

11) http://on.fb.me/1Lt7Opc http://bit.ly/1UDxMaZ

547059_511406132274135_1258606774_n

12) http://on.fb.me/1Ujp7LO http://bit.ly/1RRiZVg

1376277_512252435522838_1319769671_n

13) http://on.fb.me/1Rp3e7k http://bit.ly/1RRj3Es

1305392_516638465084235_1228692125_n

14) http://on.fb.me/1Rnaln3 http://bit.ly/1Rnfyv4

1376194_518266894921392_21414600_n

15) http://on.fb.me/21xCVBD http://bit.ly/1pwKjBS

775629_522537144494367_1480073406_o

16) http://on.fb.me/1Z5MGHD http://bit.ly/1pOy17E

564032_539057339509014_1386313894_n

17) http://on.fb.me/1U9zqCW http://bit.ly/1Lte8Nn

44634_487952921286123_288502756_n

18) http://on.fb.me/1Xyc0Vi http://bit.ly/1pOy57j

1604420_557912807623467_1197565324_n

19) http://on.fb.me/1pwEsws http://bit.ly/1PerI1Z

I would be grateful for your response to this material.

Yours sincerely

Robert Stuart

https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/

Notes

[1] Screengrab of Iessa Obied’s Facebook home page from March 2016 giving his place of employment as Atareb Hospital, Aleppo (click to enlarge):

iessafrontpage

The caption in this image identifies Iessa Obied’s brother as Abdulrahman Obied:

http://on.fb.me/1Z5NBb7

Abdulrahman Obied has described himself as Atareb Hospital’s Medical Director:

MEDICAL DIRECTOR

VIDEO: Robert Stuart’s presentation on BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children”

OffGuardian

In his presentation for Frome Stop War, Robert Stuart provides an overview of all the many pieces of evidence he has collected that point to the BBC falsifying reports of an attack on school by Assad’s forces. These reports were used as propaganda to engage public support for the government’s push for war with Syria, in the Summer of 2013.

For more details, please visit his excellent blog.


View original post

No BBC apology for recycling 2014 Yarmouk footage in 2016 Madaya report

The BBC’s inclusion of footage shot in Yarmouk in 2014 in a 7 January 2016 report about Madaya was “clearly a mistake”, according to a response to a complaint which I submitted on 20 January. [1]

BBC Complaints states that as soon as the BBC News team became aware of the error “immediate action was taken and the report stopped running on television and the online article was corrected.”

The BBC’s response, reproduced below, contains no apology.

From:  bbc_complaints_website@bbc.co.uk
Sent: 26 February 2016 15:56:34
To: Robert Stuart

Dear Mr Stuart

Reference CAS-3689232-4G32J4

Thanks for contacting us about a BBC News report on Madaya from early January and the video footage used.

The pictures you refer to were indeed from Yarmouk in 2014 – their inclusion in this report was clearly a mistake.

As soon as the BBC News team became aware of this, immediate action was taken and the report stopped running on television and the online article was corrected.

We hope this helps to clarify matters and we thank you for contacting us about this.

Kind regards

Nicola Egerton

BBC Complaints

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


[1] I had originally raised the matter via the BBC Complaints webform, including a link to my letter of complaint which I simultaneously published on this blog. Eight days later on 28 January BBC Complaints replied, informing me that my complaint had been referred “to the relevant staff but that it may take longer than 10 working days to reply.” However on 1 February BBC Complaints responded again, stating:

Our complaints framework asks that you submit full details of your complaint via the webform at the complaints website, rather than direct us to a link. Once we receive this information, we will be happy to look at your complaint again.

I was therefore obliged to resubmit my complaint and on 11 February received a further email telling me – once more – that I may have to wait more than 10 working days for a reply.