BBC upholds complaint re: substitution of “napalm bomb” footage

there is no formal policy which obliges BBC News to inform viewers that footage has been changed or to confirm when asked the source of material used. It is a matter for BBC News to decide whether to provide that information.

Fabrication in BBC Panorama 'Saving Syria’s Children'

22 July 2015

Ref: CT/1500344

Dear Mr Steel

Thank you for your provisional finding of 20 July (reproduced below) informing me that you propose to uphold my complaint regarding the substitution of Syria footage in respect of accuracy.

The finding does not address the points I have raised regarding the journalistic ethics of substituting images without acknowledgement or of the disturbingly vague and seemingly arbitrary categories of “taste of decency”. As your colleague Mr Tregear patricianly put it:

You have been given an explanation as to why the footage was changed; there is no reason why the audience should be made aware that any such editing has taken place; and BBC News is under no obligation to tell you the source of the substituted images which were broadcast.

and:

In response to your comment about the paragraph in my email which you found “astonishing”, I can only say the point I was…

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