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BBC to Time-Delay Live Sensitive News

Associated Press | June 24, 2005

This would give them the perfect opportunity to edit out information and events that they don't want the viewer to see. In 1984 the Ministry of Truth changed events AFTER they had happened. Now they'll be changed BEFORE we even have a chance to see them.

LONDON (AP) - The BBC will introduce a time delay for live broadcasts of sensitive news events such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the school massacre in Beslan, Russia, the company said Thursday.

The several-second delay will allow editors time to cut scenes deemed too shocking, the broadcaster said.

British Broadcasting Corp. management said was instituting the delay after complaints about its live coverage of the graphic events during the Beslan school takeover in September.

All major news broadcasters reported live from the scene of the hostage crisis, in which more than 300 people died. Cameras were rolling as bloodied hostages, many of them children, fled the school.

The BBC's new editorial guidelines stipulate: "A delay must be installed when broadcasting live coverage of sensitive and challenging events such as the school siege at Beslan."

The revised guidelines, effective July 25, will supplant the company's Producers' Guidelines to reflect a new broadcasting code by the British regulator Ofcom and the world's "changing media environment," the BBC said.

The new guidelines also contain, for the first time, the explicit commitment that "for the BBC accuracy is more important than speed."

Undercover investigations using secret recording equipment must be kept "under constant review," the BBC said.

The company's investigations into crime and serious anti-social behavior "must be clearly editorially justified."

The controller of the BBC's editorial policy department, Stephen Whittle, must personally approve any proposal to employ anyone on a BBC investigation who is known to have a criminal record or background of illegal activity, the company said.

"The guidelines are part of our contract with audiences. These are our editorial ethics and values, and the standards we set for ourselves. We intend to live and be judged by them," Whittle said.

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911:  The Road to Tyranny