Duping the public?

The question of journalist integrity has once again come to the fore after a BBC documentary is set to expose a news report from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News network as false.

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By  John Irish Published  July 17, 2003

Television viewers are set to question what they are watching after a BBC documentary alleged that a news report during the Iraqi conflict from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News was in fact fabricated.

A BBC Two crew that spent ten days on a Royal Navy submarine filming cruise missile launches during the conflict claimed that Sky News footage showing preparations for the firing of a Tomahawk missile were inaccurate.

Although Sky has not released a statement, reports suggest that two journalists were suspended and an investigation into the incident was underway.

The controversial claim, which appears in the BBC’s ‘Fighting the War’ series, focuses on a section of the Sky report showing a crew member pressing a red button marked fire. The documentary asserts the procedure is antiquated as missile launches are now computerised.

The report was originally released into a news pool with both ITV and Sky News airing it.

This latest allegation is bound to cause a ripple. With the British government already under scrutiny for its handling of the Iraq war and the public turning to alternative news sources such as Al Jazeera, the claims will inevitably raise the question of journalist integrity.

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