Gaddafi death footage cleared by Ofcom

Sophie Raworth Sophie Raworth warned viewers of graphic images

Ofcom has decided not to investigate complaints about graphic tv images of Colonel Gaddafi's bloodied dead body, shown by BBC News and other broadcasters.

In its latest bulletin the regulator records 25 complaints made about footage and still images shown on BBC One following the Libyan dictator's death on October 20. The BBC itself received hundreds of complaints.

Having assessed the complaints, Ofcom had decided they 'did not raise issues warranting further investigation'. Coverage of events from the town of Sirte that day been 'appropriately limited' on both sides of the watershed, Ofcom said.

Writing on the BBC Editors blog at the time, head of the BBC Newsroom Mary Hockaday said that the decision to show the images had not been an easy one, and that more graphic pictures had been censored.


'We judged that it was right to use some footage and stills, with warnings about their nature,' she said.

'Images of him alive but manhandled were also disturbing, but told an equally important part of the story about how his captors treated him and how far he himself had fallen.

'We do not use such pictures lightly. There are sequences we did not show because we considered them too graphic and we took judgements about what was acceptable for different audiences on different platforms at different times of day, especially for the pre-watershed BBC1 bulletins.'

World affairs correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse, producer Eleanor Montague and shoot-edit Phil Davis were the only UK broadcasting team in Sirte at the time Gaddafi was killed.


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