Corrections and Clarifications - Archive 2014

The BBC's responses to editorial, technical and corporate issues.

This page includes apologies, significant corrections, statements and responses, and findings from the BBC Trust and BBC Board. It does not include routine corrections to news stories, minor on-air apologies and schedule changes.


Newshour

BBC World Service, 4 February 2014

An item on John Kerry’s first year as US Secretary of State referred to “the Israeli government calling him an anti-Semite”. A listener complained that this was untrue, and that in fact no Israeli politician had accused him of anti-Semitism. The ECU noted that the item’s reference rested on comments by Naphtali Bennett and Adi Mintz in response to Mr Kerry’s comments about a possible boycott of Israel. The complainant took the view that these comments didn’t amount to direct accusations of anti-Semitism, but the ECU noted that the Israeli Foreign Minister had defended Mr Kerry on the premise that he had been so accused. In any event, however, as Mr Bennett represents the second-smallest of the parties in Israel’s governing coalition, and as Mr Mintz is not a member of the government, it was misleading for the item to present their views as those of the Israeli government. Outcome: Upheld

09/12/2014


Complaints and Appeals Board

Complaints and Appeals Board (July and September 2014)

Finding: Television Licensing

01/12/2014


Summary of Findings

Summary of findings: July & September 2014

The Twelfth, BBC One Northern Ireland (broadcast 12 July 2013); BBC Points West, BBC One (broadcast 25 October 2013); Complaints handling.

01/12/2014


Nick Conrad

BBC Radio Norfolk, 17 November 2014

We received some complaints unhappy with comments made by presenter Nick Conrad.

20/11/2014


Rugby Union

BBC One, 8 November 2014

12/11/2014


Newsbeat

Radio 1, 13 June 2014

Editorial Standards Committee finding

10/11/2014


Strictly Come Dancing

BBC One, 1 November 2014

We received complaints from some viewers concerned about the welfare of the Dalmatians featured in the programme.

04/11/2014


Doctor Who

BBC One, 1 November 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with a storyline about death and cremation

04/11/2014


Reporting Scotland (6.30pm)

BBC Scotland, 6 January 2014

A viewer complained that an item on Ukrainian expatriates living in Scotland had given a misleading description of the group who had established a chapel on the site of their prisoner of war camp. The item described the group as “former partisans” who “fought both Germany and Russia in the hope of re-establishing an independent Ukraine at the end of the war”. In fact they had been part of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) a locally raised Ukrainian SS division which was created in 1943 and fought the Soviet Union under German command, and the item had been misleading in that respect. Outcome: Upheld

03/11/2014


Newsnight

21 October 2014

A report on the Oslo Freedom Forum may have given the impression that the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests were planned by foreign activists. References to the demonstrations were in fact intended to mean that the planning was carried out in Hong Kong, with support from abroad. The civil disobedience movement Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) says that none of its members had attended the Oslo Freedom Forum or received "any specific training" from the organisations mentioned in the report.

30/10/2014


Top Gear Burma Special

BBC Two, 16 March 2014

Two viewers complained that Jeremy Clarkson’s use of the phrase “there’s a slope on it” at the point where an Asian man began to cross the bridge which the team had just constructed, was offensive. As the BBC had already acknowledged, publicly and to Ofcom, that the use of the term had been offensive in a way not justified by the context, the ECU considered the issue of complaint to have been resolved. Outcome: Resolved

30/10/2014


The Mark Forrest Show

BBC Radio Leeds, 6 March 2014

The programme included an interview with a representative of the company BritainsDNA, about genetic evidence of Viking ancestry in the population of the UK. A listener, noting that an earlier interview with the same contributor in Radio 4’s Today programme had been the subject of an upheld finding, complained that this item had again been inaccurate in relation to genetic ancestry testing and inappropriately promotional in character. In the ECU’s view, the impression given on this occasion had not been unduly promotional, and the programme-makers’ previous acknowledgement that the interview had not been challenging enough sufficed to resolve the complaint in relation to accuracy. Outcome: Resolved

29/10/2014


News at Nine

BBC News channel, 17 July 2014

As part of its coverage of the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza which had begun that day, the programme interviewed Davis Lewin of the Henry Jackson Foundation. In response to complaints, BBC News had acknowledged that the Foundation’s pro-Israeli position should have been made clear. Seven viewers complained that this acknowledgement was insufficient, and that a public correction was required. The ECU agreed that the speaker’s pro-Israeli affiliation should have been made clear. However, the content of his contribution was not such that viewers would have been materially misled if they had understood him to be a neutral commentator, and there was no occasion for the kind of correction requested by the complainants. Outcome: Resolved

28/10/2014


Newsnight

BBC Two, 22 April 2014

The programme included a report from the NUT’s Annual Conference, followed by a studio discussion. A viewer complained that the item had “a partisan, union-knocking, red scare approach”, that tweets posted by the Editor of Newsnight indicated bias, that a participant in the discussion (described as a moderate teacher) had been misleadingly portrayed as representing an organisation with official links to the Labour Party, and that the presenter of the discussion had inaccurately suggested he had been “forced out” of the NUT when he had in fact resigned. The ECU found that the item as a whole was duly impartial, the Editor’s tweets did not indicate bias and "forced out" accurately reflected the teacher's view of his situation. However, the ECU did find that the item was misleading in respect of the description and portrayal of the teacher who participated in the discussion. Outcome: Partly upheld

27/10/2014


True North: I Love Larne

BBC One Northern Ireland, 20 October 2014

We received complaints from viewers unhappy with the programme's portrayal of Larne.

24/10/2014


Today

Radio 4 and other outlets on BBC local radio, 16 October

During a report on the risks of acquiring undischarged debts when buying a second hand vehicle we carried a reference to ‘HPI checks’ , services offered commercially to provide buyers with information about loans or other historic details related to a vehicle. A purchaser stated that a check he had paid for failed to reveal an existing debt which he acquired when he bought a car second hand. HPI Ltd has asked us to point out that it did not conduct a history check on the car in question , which was provided by another company at a lower fee than it charges (£3). We apologise for any confusion which may have resulted from this report.

21/10/2014


BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend 2014

Editorial Standards Committee finding

20/10/2014


EastEnders

BBC One, 6 October 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with an EastEnders storyline in which a character is raped.

07/10/2014


Top Gear filming in Argentina

October 2014

We received complaints from viewers concerned by press reports that, while filming in Argentina, Top Gear had apparently used cars with provocative registration plates.

06/10/2014


Complains & Appeals Board Findings

Complaints & Appeals Board findings (June & July 2014)

Finding: Television Licensing

30/09/2014


Editorial Standards Committee Bulletin

Editorial Standards Committee bulletin (June & July 2014)

Summary of findings: The Nolan Show, BBC Northern Ireland & BBC Radio Ulster (broadcast 9, 10 & 11 October 2013); Richard Spendlove, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (broadcast 7 December 2013); Spendlove and South, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (broadcast 5 January 2014); The Report, Radio 4 (broadcast 14 November 2013); Horrible Histories, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, BBC Learning Zone; Blue Peter, BBC One (broadcast 19 December 2013).

30/09/2014


Panorama: Police - Shooting to Kill?

BBC One

The programme included footage of a raid in which two men were killed. Solicitors representing the family of one of the men complained that they were not given warning that this material would be aired. The programme-makers had sought to make the families aware of inclusion of the material in the programme via a third party and had been given to believe that this information would be passed along to them. However more should have been done to identify the family members and contact them directly. Outcome: Upheld

23/09/2014


Newshour

World Service, ECU Finding

A listener complained that a bulletin item on the late Ariel Sharon was misleading in a number of respects, particularly in relation to Mr Sharon’s role in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the beginning of the second Intifada and the construction of the security barrier. Although some of the item’s phrasing could have been more precise, in most respects it was not materially misleading (particularly as the bulletin was in the context of a longer programme about Mr Sharon and his legacy which covered the relevant events in some detail). It was misleading for the item to say that he had commissioned a barrier “to keep Palestinians out of Israel”, but, as the programme-makers had already acknowledged that it would have been more accurate to say that it had been built “to prevent attacks by Palestinian militants”, the ECU considered this aspect of the complaint to have been resolved.

22/09/2014


BBC News at Six and Ten

BBC One, 11 September, 2014

We received complaints from viewers who felt Nick Robinson's report on the Scottish First Minister's press conference implied that Alex Salmond had not answered a question put to him.

12/09/2014


National Lottery results

BBC Red Button, 30 August – 3 September 2014

We received complaints from some users that the National Lottery results have not been updated on the BBC Red Button

05/09/2014


Jonathan Ross (for Steve Wright)

BBC Radio 2, 26-29 August 2014

We received complaints from some listeners unhappy that Jonathan Ross was chosen to provide holiday cover for Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2.

01/09/2014


Sunday Politics

BBC One, 16 February 2014

A viewer complained that Andrew Neil, interviewing John Swinney of the SNP, had given a misleading impression of what the Spanish Foreign Minister Manuel Barroso had said about the prospect for Scottish membership of the EU in the event of independence. The ECU ruled that Andrew Neil’s response was misleading. Outcome: Upheld

28/08/2014


 

The Great British Bake Off

BBC One, 27 August 2014

We were contacted by viewers who felt that Iain was unfairly eliminated from The Great British Bake Off after another contestant removed his Baked Alaska from the freezer.

28/08/2014


Scotland Decides: Salmond versus Darling

BBC One/BBC Two, 25 August 2014

We were contacted by viewers who felt the debate was poorly moderated and/or the audience was biased in favour of independence.

27/08/2014


Pointless

BBC One, 20 August 2014

We were contacted by viewers asking why episode 60 from series 7 of Pointless was not repeated within the current re-run of the series.

21/08/2014


Nick Ahad in for Martin Kelner

Radio Leeds, 5 September 2013

During a discussion on the life and death of Diana, Princess of Wales, a guest described his meeting with her in London on the day before her death. A listener complained that this account could not be true, as on the day in question the Princess had been in Sardinia. On the basis of information from recognised authorities on the life of the Princess, the listener also questioned whether the guest had been a friend of hers, as he claimed. The ECU ruled that there is a limit to which programme-makers can be held responsible for the claims of guests. However the circumstances of the Princess’ death are a matter of public record and the claim to have met her the previous day should at least have been questioned. It went to the heart of the matter under discussion and listeners would have been misled - via the recollections of a contributor - on what was a material point. The ECU was unable to find corroboration of the guest’s claim to have been a friend of the Princess. Outcome: Upheld

20/08/2014


Coverage of the allegation made against Sir Cliff Richard and the police search of his property

BBC News, August 2014

We have received complaints from some audience members who feel there has been too much coverage of the allegation against Sir Cliff Richard and the search of his property. Some viewers and listeners also feel our coverage of the story has suggested that he is guilty, while others are concerned about how BBC News found out about the police investigation and the search of Sir Cliff's property.

19/08/2014


Morning Call

Radio Wales, 26 March 2014

The programme was devoted to issues arising from a teachers’ strike occurring that day. A listener complained that during an exchange with the presenter of the following programme, that presenter made remarks which appeared to reveal his opposition to the strike. The ECU found that the presenter of the following programme had spoken in terms which could only be taken as expressing disapproval of the strike, thus taking sides on a controversial issue. Outcome: Upheld

15/08/2014


The One Show

BBC One, 9 December 2013

In a studio discussion about possible economic effects of Scottish independence, a programme reporter quoted UK supermarkets as having said that, in the event of independence, the price of groceries in Scotland would rise. A viewer complained that the supermarkets had made no such statement. The ECU noted that the supermarkets concerned had not said that prices would necessarily rise, but that they would be likely to do so if no offsetting measures were taken. The ECU agreed that this qualification should have been reflected, but found that an item on the programme the following evening, where the lack of certainty was emphasised, was sufficient to resolve the complaint. Outcome: Resolved

14/08/2014


Food & Drink

BBC Two, 11 August 2014

We've received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with a discussion about food intolerance and allergies during Food & Drink.

14/08/2014


BBC News

12 August 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who felt that BBC News gave too much coverage and prominence to the death of Robin Williams.

14/08/2014


Today

Radio 4, 13 February 2014

The programme included an item in which Lord Lawson of Blaby and Sir Brian Hoskins, Professor of Meteorology at Reading University and Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London were invited to discuss the relationship between global warming and the recent severe flooding in parts of the UK. Three listeners complained that the item had given undue weight to Lord Lawson’s views, and had conveyed a misleading impression of the scientific evidence on the matter. The BBC’s position (as formulated by the BBC Trust in 2011) is that there is general agreement among climate scientists that the evidence is in favour of anthropogenic global warming, that the BBC’s coverage should reflect this, and that opinion and evidence should not be treated as if they were on the same footing. That does not mean scientific research should not be properly scrutinised through scientific debate. Nor does it mean that sceptical views should be excluded from BBC programmes. Inviting Lord Lawson (who chairs a climate policy campaign group) to appear on the Today programme was entirely consistent with that position, but the handling of the item gave the impression that his views on the science of climate change stood on the same footing as those of Sir Brian, and introducing him as “the founding chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation which is an all-party think tank” did not make sufficiently clear that he represented a particular viewpoint. Outcome: Upheld

03/07/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee Findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (June 2014]

Summary of finding: Cowboy Trap, BBC One & BBC One HD (broadcast 25 January 2013)

03/07/2014


Outnumbered

BBC One, 29 January 2014

A viewer complained that a character’s reference to a frustrating and inflexible computer system as being “on the autistic spectrum” perpetuated a negative stereotype. The ECU agreed that, on this occasion, there was insufficient editorial justification for alluding to a disability in this way. Outcome: Upheld.

25/07/2014


News at Ten

BBC One, 18 July 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who felt the images and descriptions used in a report on flight MH17 were too graphic and upsetting.

22/07/2014


Newsnight

BBC Two, 9 July 2014

“During a live item about party whips, former Tory whip Neil Hamilton referred to a former MP, now dead, who he said had been known to engage in ‘outrageous’ behaviour. Mr Hamilton wrongly referred to him as Allan Rogers, the former MP for the Rhondda. Both Mr Hamilton and Newsnight accept that this was an error, that Mr Rogers is not the person who was known to engage in outrageous behaviour, and we apologise to him unreservedly for the embarrassment caused."

10/07/2014


World Cup commentary

BBC Sport, 8 July 2014

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made during coverage of the Brazil vs Germany semi-final match.

09/07/2014


Today at Wimbledon

BBC Two

We have received complaints from viewers unhappy that Today at Wimbledon was not shown as billed.

03/07/2014


World Cup commentary

BBC Sport, 1 July 2014

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made during coverage of the Argentina v Switzerland match.

02/07/2014


Editorial Standards Committee Findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (April & May 2014)

Summary of findings: Radio Jersey; The World at One, Radio 4 (broadcast 27 September 2013)

01/07/2014


 

Complaints & Appeals Board Findings

Complaints & Appeals Board findings (May 2014)

Rejected appeals

01/07/2014


World Cup 2014 schedule disruption

BBC One

We have received complaints from viewers unhappy with the disruption to the BBC One schedule when World Cup matches run into extra time.

30/06/2014


Clarification - BBC News app

“The BBC News App was not hacked. We've been in the process of testing new functionality for our Apps and a test message was sent in error this morning. We apologise to our App users who were unnecessarily interrupted with the alert.”

25/06/2014


World Cup

BBC Sport, 20 June 2014

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy that Gary Lineker wore an Italy shirt during coverage of the Italy v Costa Rica match.

24/06/2014


Breakfast

BBC One, 18 June 2014

We received complaints from viewers who felt it was incorrect to suggest a rise in reported cases of Crohn's disease could be attributed to having a poor diet.

20/06/2014


Editorial Standards Committee findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (April 2014)

Summary of findings: Watchdog, BBC One (broadcast 8 May 2013); Online summary of Editorial Complaints Unit’s finding: Re-use of Inaccurate Headline

17/06/2014


 

Complaints and Appeal Board findings

Complaints and Appeal Board findings (March and April 2014)

Appeal finding: Decision not to remove post from Points of View Message Board

17/06/2014


 

World Cup commentary

BBC Sport, June 2014

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with our World Cup commentary.

17/06/2014


BBC News at Ten

BBC One and Newsnight, BBC Two, 13 June 2014

“On 7th March the Ten o’clock News (Newsnight) broadcast a report alleging a possible police cover-up over an allegedly corrupt officer, DC John Davidson. The claims should have been put to the Metropolitan Police, an omission for which we apologise. The Met in fact says it did not claim in its evidence to the Ellison Review that there were no records of the officer’s links to a separate investigation into the murder of Daniel Morgan and it does not accept that the BBC produced evidence of a possible cover-up. We were wrong to suggest the document we showed demonstrated such a cover-up and we apologise for this.”

14/06/2014


Reporting Scotland

BBC One (Scotland), 13 February 2014

A viewer complained that a report on legal action being taken to clarify the existing law on assisted suicide/assisted dying failed to reflect the views of those opposed to euthanasia. The ECU agreed that assisted suicide is a controversial subject and so the report should have reflected an appropriate range of views. The report therefore failed to achieve the necessary due impartiality. Outcome: Upheld

29/05/2014


Quirke

Episode 1, BBC One, Sunday 25 May

We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with the sound quality during Quirke.

28/05/2014


News Briefing

Radio 4, 05:30 Sunday 25 May 2014

An on-air apology was made during News Briefing earlier today, in relation to the programme broadcast on Sunday 18 May 2014: “In last week's paper review we used a quote from a Peter Hitchens article in the Mail on Sunday, criticising UKIP. We took this out of context by omitting his praise for the party. We are sorry for this and happy to make it clear.”

25/05/2014


North West Today

BBC One (North West), 27 November 2013

The lead story in the 8.28am bulletin reported that one of the region’s MPs “says she’s been contacted by householders who’ve been told that shale gas extraction near their homes could invalidate their insurance”. A viewer complained that this was misleading, saying he was aware of no evidence of insurers withdrawing or threatening to withdraw domestic cover in the event of fracking. The ECU understood from the Association of British Insurers that, broadly speaking, damage from fracking would be covered by buildings insurance and that there was nothing to suggest any moves by household insurers to invalidate insurance because of proximity to fracking sites. The ECU concluded that, in broadcasting a claim which was potentially of great significance in relation to an issue of sharp controversy in the region, more should have been done to establish what basis it had. Outcome: Upheld

16/05/2014


Statement regarding BBC Radio Devon and David Lowe

We have received complaints following the departure of presenter David Lowe from BBC Radio Devon.

13/05/2014


Breakfast (BBC One) and the BBC News Channel

9 May, 2014

A reference to a commercial sponsor appeared briefly on air in the UK.

09/05/2014


Tutor Proof

Radio 4, 5 May 2014

This programme sought to test the claims of a supplier of 11+ test papers which says its tests make it more difficult for private tutors to give pupils an advantage through intensive preparation. This reflected a topic of considerable public interest in areas where 11+ tests are still used and it included the views of parents, children and tutors as well as the test paper supplier in question. These included sceptical voices. However we accept that the programme should have referred to other test paper suppliers, offering them a chance to respond to remarks about other kinds of test paper and reflecting their alternative views on this topic. By this omission the programme fell short of the high standards we expect, in terms of range of opinion and accuracy. We have therefore decided to remove the programme from BBC iPlayer.

08/05/2014


World Snooker Championship

BBC Two, 3 May 2014

We have received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with disruption to the BBC Two schedule following the World Snooker Championship final. Some viewers also questioned the decision to schedule part two of Generation War immediately after a live sporting event.

07/05/2014


Statement regarding Jeremy Clarkson

The following statement has today been issued by the BBC. "Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this". BBC Press Office

01/05/2014


Tudur Owen

BBC Radio Cymru, 24 & 25 Mai 2013

Cwynodd Gwilym Owen fod darnau o’i gyfweliad ar y rhaglen Dan yr Wyneb wedi eu defnyddio yn ddiarwybod iddo a heb ei ganiatâd mewn cyd-destun dychanol, a’u bod wedi eu cyfosod o fewn cyfres o sylwadau personol sarhaus. Wrth ymateb i gwyn wreiddiol Mr Owen, amddiffynnodd y Pennaeth Rhaglenni a Gwasanaethau Cymraeg y defnydd o rannau o’i gyfweliad blaenorol o fewn yr hyn y credai hi oedd yn gyd-destun dychanol cyfarwydd a pherthnasol, ond roedd yn cydnabod bod rhai o’r sylwadau dilynol yn rhai y “gellid eu hystyried yn ddi-chwaeth a di-angen”, ac fe ymddiheurodd am hynny. Ail-adroddodd yr ymddiheuriad hwn mewn llythyr at Golwg, ar ôl i Mr Owen leisio ei gwyn yn gyhoeddus. Cytunodd yr Uned Cwynion Golygyddol (ECU) gyda’r Pennaeth Rhaglenni a Gwasanaethau Cymraeg fod rhan olaf yr eitem wedi gwyro oddi wrth ddychan tuag at fod yn ddilornus ac fod hynny yn groes i’r safonau golygyddol, ond fod ymddiheuriad y Pennaeth Rhaglenni a Gwasanaethau Cymraeg yn ddigon i ddatrys y mater. Canlyniad: Wedi ei ddatrys.

28/04/2014


Tudur Owen

BBC Radio Cymru, 24 & 25 May 2013

Gwilym Owen complained that extracts from an interview he had provided to the programme Dan yr Wyneb had been used without his knowledge or permission in a satirical context, and had been made the occasion for a series of offensive personal remarks. In response to Mr Owen’s initial complaint, the Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services defended the use of extracts from his earlier interview in what she considered to be a well-established and well-understood satirical context, but acknowledged that some of the ensuing comments “could be considered tasteless and unnecessary”, and apologised for those. The apology was reiterated in a letter to the periodical Golwg, in response to Mr Owen having aired his complaint publicly. The ECU agreed with the Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services that the final part of the item had veered from the satirical towards something closer to the merely abusive. This constituted a breach of editorial standards but concluded that the published apology by the Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services was sufficient to resolve the matter. Outcome: resolved.

28/04/2014


Jamaica Inn

There were issues with the sound during Jamaica Inn on 21 April and this could not be altered during transmission. We adjusted the dialogue levels for episode 2 and 3 to address audience concerns so viewers can enjoy the rest of the drama. The episodes already shown are available on BBC iPlayer and when the series concludes on 23 April the whole series will be available for 7 days. We would like to apologise to those viewers who were affected.

26/04/2014


Coverage of the sacking of David Moyes

We have received complaints from audience members who feel there has been too much coverage of the sacking of David Moyes.

24/04/2014


Statement regarding Top Gear Burma Special

Statement regarding Top Gear Burma Special

Statement from BBC Top Gear Executive Producer, Andy Wilman, in response to complaints following the broadcast of Top Gear Burma Special, BBC Two, 16 March. "When we used the word ‘slope’ in the recent Top Gear Burma Special it was a light-hearted word play joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it. "We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word ‘slope’ is considered by some to be offensive and although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA. "If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context and regret any offence caused."

22/04/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (March 2014)

Summary of findings: Newsnight, BBC Two (broadcast 15 July 2013)

22/04/2014


Today

Radio 4, 9 July 2012

The programme included an interview with a representative of BritainsDNA, a company which offers genetic ancestry testing. A listener who occupies a Chair of Statistical Genetics complained that the interview included inaccurate and misleading claims (which went unchallenged) about the results of tests recently conducted by BritainsDNA, and that it had the effect of endorsing or promoting a commercial enterprise (particularly by describing Britains DNA’s services as “massively subsidised”, and by including the URL of the company’s website). The ECU found that, in a number of instances, the representative of BritainsDNA had spoken in terms which went beyond what could be inferred with certainty from the evidence, or were simply mistaken. In relation to an impression of endorsement or promotion, the ECU noted that it was not made clear that BritainsDNA is a commercial undertaking and the mention of the company’s URL towards the end of the item contributed to an inappropriate impression of promoting what is in fact a commercial enterprise. Outcome: Upheld

15/04/2014


Beyond Belief

Radio 4, 19 August 2013

The programme explored Buddhist attitudes to violence, and took the situation of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Burma (who have experienced violence from members of the Buddhist majority) as a contemporary case in point. A listener complained that one of the speakers in the discussion, a journalist with the BBC’s Burmese Service, appeared to be expressing personal support for the Burmese government and the Buddhist majority. The ECU found that the speaker had expressed himself in terms which gave the impression of taking sides on a controversial issue. However, the ECU accepted assurances that he had not, in fact, been expressing his own view, but had simply failed to make clear that he was reporting the majority and government view. Outcome: Upheld

14/04/2014


Coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial

We have received complaints from viewers who feel there has been too much coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

11/04/2014


Y chromosome: Why men contribute so little

bbc.co.uk

Two visitors to the page complained that the headline was inaccurate and, together with the picture of a somewhat overweight man lounging on a sofa which illustrated the article, offensively sexist. The ECU found that while the article itself was an accurate account of a study, the study had no direct bearing on human reproduction, and the headline was therefore misleading. However, the ECU did not consider it or the illustration (though of little relevance) to be offensively sexist. Outcome: Partly upheld

08/04/2014


Complaints and Appeals Board findings

Complaints and Appeals Board findings (February 2014)

Summary of findings: Local radio station; Fair trading appeal

08/04/2014


News (6.00pm)

Radio 4, 1 November 2013

The bulletin included a report on the government’s announcement of changes to GCSE examinations in England. A listener complained that the impression was given that the changes would lead to the study of a substantial component of English Literature becoming compulsory, whereas the reverse was true. The ECU agreed that the headline was inaccurate. The report itself did not repeat the inaccuracy, but it contained nothing which served to correct it. Outcome: Upheld

07/04/2014


Today

Radio 4, 28 November 2013

In a discussion about cigarette packaging, a contributor was introduced as the Director-General of the Institute for Economic Affairs and a smoker. A number of listeners complained that mention should have been made of tobacco industry funding for the IEA. The ECU agreed with the stage one response from BBC News which acknowledged that information about the political orientation of the IEA should have been provided but that there was no requirement to explore sources of funding. Outcome: Resolved

4/04/2014


Complaints and Appeals Board findings

Complaints and Appeals Board findings (January 2014)

Summary of findings: Television Licensing TVL0055; Television Licensing TVL0047

25/03/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee findings (February 2014)

Editorial Standards Committee findings

Summary of findings: The 99p Challenge, Radio 4 Extra (broadcast 29 March 2013); Coverage of climate change, Natural History Unit

25/03/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (January 2014)

Summary of findings: “How did the Irish badger cull play out?”, BBC News Online; Today, Radio 4 (broadcast 10 June 2011); Today, Radio 4 (broadcast 7 November 2012)

25/03/2014


Today

Radio 4, 11 November 2012

The programme included an interview with Professor David Nutt about his research into drugs which might mimic the effect of alcohol without its adverse consequences. Upheld/Partly upheld

18/03/2014


 

Top Gear

BBC Two, 2 & 3 March 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who felt we were being rude towards cyclists during an episode of Top Gear.

18/03/2014


Panorama

“North Korea Undercover”, April 15, 2013

The Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding has written to the LSE and the parent of a student who complained to the BBC to apologise for shortcomings in the making of the programme.

17/03/2014


Today

Radio 4, 15 November 2013

The programme included an interview with Baroness Warsi, arising from her warning that Christians in some parts of the world faced extinction because of violence against them. Two listeners complained that the interviewer had wrongly identified Israel as a case in point. The interviewer posed the question: “But are you saying – can I just ask – countries like Pakistan that you refer to, or perhaps Israel or even Iraq where there is a functioning government – is it just down to the politicians in those countries to speak out and this problem could be solved?”. The intention of the question was to cite Israel as an example of a country where there was a functioning government, but the ECU found that, in the context of the interview, it nevertheless created the impression complained of. Outcome: Upheld

10/03/2014


Plans to close BBC Three as a TV Channel

We have received complaints about plans to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel.

06/03/2014


Coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial

We have received complaints from viewers who feel there has been too much coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

05/03/2014


Inside Out (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire)

bbc.co.uk

The director of a company which offers services to those wishing to change their names by Deed Poll complained that three unconnected articles about changing a name by Deed Poll each included a link to a company which provides this service, with the effect of giving the companies concerned an advantage over others in the field. The BBC’s guidelines allow links to the websites of commercial companies when there is sufficient editorial justification; in the instances in question, however, the Editorial Complaints Unit found there was insufficient editorial justification to offset the potential promotional effect of the links. Outcome: Upheld

21/02/2014


Today

BBC Radio 4, 13 February 2014

We have continued to receive complaints from listeners who were unhappy with the decision to include Lord Lawson as a guest during a discussion on climate change.

21/02/2014


Sunday Politics (London)

BBC One, 7 July 2013

During BBC Sport's coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, broadcast on BBC Television on Friday 7th February, there was an inaccurate reference to Macedonia "producing" Saints Cyril and Methodius. The BBC wishes to make clear that the reference was imprecise in light of what is known about the birthplace of the two Saints.

17/02/2014


Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony

7 February 2014

During BBC Sport's coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, broadcast on BBC Television on Friday 7th February, there was an inaccurate reference to Macedonia "producing" Saints Cyril and Methodius. The BBC wishes to make clear that the reference was imprecise in light of what is known about the birthplace of the two Saints.

12/02/2014


Sochi 2014

Commentary during the Opening Ceremony, 7 February 2014

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with the commentary during the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony.

11/02/2014


Sochi 2014

Snowboarding slopestyle, BBC Two, 9 February 2014

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with the standard of commentary during the Snowboarding slopestyle final.

10/01/2014


 

Top Gear

BBC Two, 2 & 3 February 2014

We have received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy that there appeared to be food wasted during an item where the presenters raced cars around a supermarket.

10/01/2014


Continuity announcement for Growing Up Down's (BBC Three)

Viewers were offended by a continuity announcement for Growing Up Down's (BBC Three) which was introduced as being about 'Down's syndrome sufferers'. We would like to apologise for any offence caused. This was the wrong choice of words and the continuity announcement team will endeavour to ensure that this phrase is avoided in future.

06/01/2014


 

Fake or Fortune?

BBC One, 2 February 2014

We received complaints from viewers unhappy that the outcome of the episode of Fake or Fortune? which aired on 2nd February was revealed in advance by some news outlets, including the BBC.

06/01/2014


Six Nations Rugby 2014

BBC One, 2 February 2014

We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy with a comment made by John Inverdale during the Ireland v Scotland match. Some viewers felt his reference to England, rather than Great Britain was inaccurate and biased

04/02/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (December 2013)

Summary of findings: BBC News Channel & BBC World News, 14 & 15 November 2012; Health Check, BBC World Service (broadcast 4 October 2012); Network announcements for BBC TV programmes broadcast in Scotland; Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 2 May 2013); Newsnight, BBC Two (broadcast 23 January 2013)

04/02/2014


 

Complaints & Appeals Board

Complaints & Appeals Board (December 2013)

Rejected appeals

04/02/2014


Motorway Cops

BBC 1, 23 September 2013

The programme reported on a fatal accident which had been caused by horses escaping from a field and straying onto a main road. The programme concluded that the reason for the horses’ escape “remains a mystery” . The viewer complained that the programme had thus suggested that the owners of the horses may have been at fault whereas a coroner’s inquest had concluded that, while there was no conclusive proof, it was “highly probable that someone has tried to remove the horses in an attempt to steal them”. The ECU found that the programme’s formulation did not accurately reflect the conclusion of the coroner’s inquest. Outcome: Upheld.

03/02/2014


 

Outnumbered

29 January 2014

We have received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with a joke made in Outnumbered.

03/02/2014


Vanessa Feltz in for Jeremy Vine

Radio 2, 29 0ctober 2013

A listener complained that the presenter displayed bias during an interview on the dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith, former head of Haringey children's services. The ECU ruled that a passage during the interview was inappropriately antagonistic in tone, which may have given listeners the impression that the presenter was expressing her own views on a matter of controversy. Outcome: Upheld

17/01/2014


The One Show

BBC One, 14 January 2014

We have received complaints about Paul O'Grady's appearance on the One Show on 14 January. Some viewers felt that his views on benefit reform were not adequately challenged.

15/01/2014


 

EastEnders

BBC One

14 January 2014

We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with a comment made by Shabnam during EastEnders on 14 January 2014.

15/01/2014


BBC Local Radio news

14 January 2014

“During an item earlier today on last year’s horsemeat scandal, it was reported that horsemeat was found in frozen burgers and ready meals in Tesco, Aldi, Waitrose, Asda and other food outlets. In fact, Waitrose withdrew frozen burgers from shelves as a precaution but no horsemeat was ever found in them. We are happy to correct this mistake”.

14/01/2014


 

Complaints & Appeals Board Findings

Complaints and Appeals Board Findings (November 2013)

Summary of finding: Television Licensing TVL0047

14/01/2014


 

Editorial Standards Committee findings

Editorial Standards Committee findings (November 2013)

Summary of findings: BBC Scotland news reports, 25 January 2013 and thereafter; “Why have the white British left London?", BBC News Online, 20 February 2013; 5 Live Drive, BBC Radio 5 Live (broadcast 15 April 2013) and Ben Goldacre’s Bad Evidence, BBC Radio 4 (broadcast 6 January 2013)

14/01/2014


The House That 100k Built

BBC Two, 2 October 2013

A company which distributes liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders complained about a sequence which showed a person cutting through a used gas cylinder with an angle grinder. It said this was extremely dangerous and could encourage imitation, putting lives at risk. It also said the act was unlawful because all LPG cylinders remain the property of the distributor. The ECU agreed that the sequence should not have been broadcast, and was concerned that there was no appropriate explanation of the dangers involved to prevent possible imitation by viewers. A warning was subsequently put on the programme’s website but the ECU did not consider it to be sufficiently clear about the risks involved. The website did, however, make it clear that the cylinders remain the property of the distributors, so the ECU regarded this aspect of the complaint as having been resolved. Outcome: Upheld/ Resolved

13/01/2014