Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

PCC Investigates BBC Complaints Over Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph Headlines

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has investigated and resolved two complaints concerning inaccurate headlines involving the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph and stories they published about the BBC, its program "Lambing Live" and the lodging of its crew at hotels recently. The two papers claimed that the BBC had paid £279 per night for hotel rooms for crews who staff the show. The BBC told reporters that the real cost was actually £58 per night.  Here's a link to the Daily Mail  story. Here's criticism of the coverage from the site iMediaEthics.

The papers told the PCC that the BBC had not responded to their inquiries about the costs by the time they needed to post their stories. 

Here is a link to the PCC ruling. The PCC writes in part:

The newspaper said that the article had included the BBC's response, which had not mentioned the actual price of the rooms. It had been informed by the BBC only after the publication of the actual price; it had published the BBC's letter addressing this point. It has amended the online article and published the following footnote:

The BBC asks us to point out that in fact the BBC paid £58 per night, not the £279 quoted. This rate amounted to a discount of around 50% off the standard rate, substantially less than other hotels in the area and within the BBC expenses policy. Having the team stay in one location simplified travel arrangements to and from the farm. They also say that a crew of 65 is typical for a production of this kind. The article was updated after the BBC provided further comment on the price of rooms following publication.

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