The Newsroom

Woolwich incident coverage - Ofcom ruling

(January 2014)

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GE
thegeek Founding member
The original thread has been archived, but there was a fair bit of discussion at the time concerning the graphic nature of the breaking news coverage of the killing of Lee Rigby at Woolwich.

Ofcom have spent half a year mulling it over, and decided that the coverage was not in breach of the Broadcast Code, but in some cases could probably have done with more warnings.

It's a hefty 29 pages - you can find it at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/broadcast-bulletins/245/obb245.pdf#page=22
PC
p_c_u_k
I completely agree with Ofcom's assessment, they have it absolutely spot on.

It was an incredibly distressing story with horrific pictures - ones that shocked me more than any other I can remember. But media organisations were completely justified in using them to show the full horror of the situation.

The handling wasn't perfect at times, but people working at each broadcaster would have had to make decisions instantly, and it's easy to sit in hindsight.

Interesting that Sky News seemed to be the most restrained channel of the lot.
LJ
Live at five with Jeremy
I remember at the time there seemed to be immense competition between the channels to get the most exclusive coverage. From memory ITV seemed to get the first video of the incident taking place and pretty much showed the video in its entirety raw. The same video used in recent times has much of the graphic elements of the coverage frosted such as the accused blooded hands. It must be tough though in them situations not to use exclusive footage one station has over the other and making that decision is even tougher given the speed at which the story broke. Did ITV pay for the exclusive footage they received?
DK
DanielK
I remember at the time there seemed to be immense competition between the channels to get the most exclusive coverage. From memory ITV seemed to get the first video of the incident taking place and pretty much showed the video in its entirety raw. The same video used in recent times has much of the graphic elements of the coverage frosted such as the accused blooded hands. It must be tough though in them situations not to use exclusive footage one station has over the other and making that decision is even tougher given the speed at which the story broke. Did ITV pay for the exclusive footage they received?


I really don't get why broadcasters get into trouble for paying for exclusives, how else is the subject going to choose a broadcaster other than the benefit of money?
LJ
Live at five with Jeremy
I remember at the time there seemed to be immense competition between the channels to get the most exclusive coverage. From memory ITV seemed to get the first video of the incident taking place and pretty much showed the video in its entirety raw. The same video used in recent times has much of the graphic elements of the coverage frosted such as the accused blooded hands. It must be tough though in them situations not to use exclusive footage one station has over the other and making that decision is even tougher given the speed at which the story broke. Did ITV pay for the exclusive footage they received?


I really don't get why broadcasters get into trouble for paying for exclusives, how else is the subject going to choose a broadcaster other than the benefit of money?


Can't say I disagree with you, its done regularly in the print media so I don't have a problem with it for the broadcast media. Just was wondering if in fact they did pay for the exclusivity and if so how much?
PC
p_c_u_k
I actually have a lot of admiration for ITV News in quite how fast they got this to air. In the Ofcom document it states that the witness arrived at their studios at 5.45pm. In that time they would have had to ensure it was legitimate, that the person wasn't involved in the attack him or herself, in the midst of an appalling and violent incident in the centre of London. It took bravery in so many ways.

The person contacted ITV News to alert them to the fact the video was there, so they would have been able to plan hypotheticals (what to say to them, what they could use, how to use it in the regional and national bulletins if it was of high enough quality), but it still would have required some very quick and precise decisions.

Ideally London Tonight should have given a stronger warning, but by the sound of the transcript, and how fast this all happened, it's fully understandable it all happened as it did.

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