Statement regarding BBC Trust decision on Panorama’s North Korea Undercover programme, broadcast 15 April 2013
BBC News accepts in full the Trust decision on Panorama’s North Korea Undercover programme broadcast on 15 April 2013. We are pleased that the Trust found that there was a clear and strong public interest in commissioning and broadcasting the programme and that the correct referral procedures and processes were followed by the programme team and senior management. We also accept, however, that aspects of the BBC’s handling of the project fell short in a number of areas, with the Trust finding against the BBC on four of its 21 rulings.
In particular we have apologised to Student X for the finding by the Trust that insufficient information was given to her ahead of the trip about the involvement of the BBC journalists and the potential risks, which meant that Student X did not have sufficient knowledge on which to give informed consent. We have also apologised to the LSE for the Trust’s finding that the programme created the risk of harm to the LSE’s reputation.
The Trust recognised that this programme involved a number of finely-balanced editorial judgements and that the BBC spent considerable time evaluating the risks in circumstances which were highly unusual. In the planning for and making of the programme BBC News believed that it was treating all the students and the LSE fairly.
BBC Press Office
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