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    Tuesday, 20 November 2007

    Babies crying: where's the news in that?

    Since the climactic events of the summer (1,2), there has been a continuing trickle of allegations of fakery against the BBC. Most of these are mundane, but one levelled last week is more important (1,2). In a report on the first birth of quintuplets in Britain for five years, the BBC added audio of the babies crying to a video released by the hospital which had no such track. The babies in fact were depicted with respirators in their mouths. Other broadcasters ran the footage without embellishment, and the hospital cried foul.

    The BBC has issued a mea culpa of sorts: "we received the film without sound and although we don't believe viewers were materially misled, we should not have added sound to the pictures". Its hardly Goebbels-style misrepresentation, but immediately the event raises the question of what other 'improvements' the BBC has made to news items over time.

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