Now You See It, Now You Don't
BBC has 'technical difficulties' with video showing a speed camera van causing crashes.
The Association of British Drivers has demanded that the BBC news website re-instate a video that showed two cars crashing after braking heavily upon spotting a Hertfordshire Police speed camera van.
The video was first shown on BBC News 24 on Monday 21st April when it was bizarrely used to illustrate a misleading story claiming that 'speeding' is by far the biggest cause of accidents.
The video later appeared on the BBC News website at this address: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7358372.stm
, but by the next day it had mysteriously disappeared.
ABD member Keith Jones said:
“I spoke to the BBC and was told that the video is missing from their website because of a technical problem. They do not know when this will be fixed and do not provide feedback on progress.”
We suspect that what happened was something like this:
- Hertfordshire Safety Camera Partnership was asked by the BBC for a video illustrating speeding.
- Someone released this video of a speed camera van causing crashes.
- After it was broadcast someone realised how damaging it would be to claims that speed cameras reduce accidents.
- The powers that be asked the BBC to remove the video from its website.
- The BBC, as we have seen recently 1, was only too willing to roll over rather than seek to maintain any concept of journalistic integrity.
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“The 'technical difficulties' claim smacks of censorship by the BBC. It would seem that the BBC is not interested in presenting facts to licence payers unless they have first been approved by the powers that be. This is the kind of censorship that the BBC reports to exist in Russia 2, yet here we have indications of the same censorship in Britain. We call upon the BBC to re-instate this video without delay.”
Since this PR was published, we have been contacted by Hertfordshire Safety Camera Partnership and informed that they have not supplied any such video to the BBC. They stated that the video related to incidents in Norfolk.
Our reference to Hertfordshire was based upon information supplied by one of our members who recalled seeing the video. He has subsequently confirmed to us his recollection that the van was reported by the BBC as being from Hertfordshire.
Should our member's recollection be wrong then we will happily apologise to Hertfordshire Safety Camera Partnership for the incorrect attribution, however, without sight of the video we cannot say whether the error was ours, or the BBC's.
We are still awaiting sight of the video or any comment from the BBC.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
• Article in the Spectator explaining how a BBC news article was changed after threats by a green activist, but subsequently changed back after the whole sorry saga was made public.
• CNN's Glenn Beck tells the saga.
• The BBC article which was changed (now back in it's original form).
• BBC report claiming censorship of the media in Russia
Notes for Editors about the ABD