BBC News (10pm), BBC One, 21 August 2018: Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit

The bulletin included a report on the possible effect of Brexit on import-export traffic through Dover. A viewer complained that the reporter’s statement “210 million containers a year will be potentially added to those requiring customs checks” was misleading.

The 210 million figure reflected the HMRC estimate of the annual number of additional customs declarations resulting from Brexit, including crates, drums, boxes and cases as well as intermodal freight containers. However, the context would have given the impression that it referred to intermodal containers only, which was misleading.

Further action
Journalists have been reminded to be careful when they attempt to reduce complex statistics to a more understandable overall picture and to ensure that in doing so the pictures match the conclusion they have reached.