Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, July 10, 2006

BBC Program Stunt Results in Complaints, Police Investigation

Peter Barron of BBC2's Newsnight and his staff decided to enliven their program by creating a "happening"--offering potential Scottish supporters of a World Cup team a chance to destroy a car covered with English signage and tempingly parked in a Glasgow street. Within a short time, Newsnight staff using surveillance video caught some young people doing just that. The result? Cries of "foul" both from BBC2 viewers and from Members of Parliament, and a police investigation. The BBC2 defends its staff, saying "the item followed guidelines." The story is reminiscent of debate over undercover journalism here in the States, particularly since the charges include allegations of a "set-up" and "incitement". Read more here.

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