BBC Trust says Panorama 'Death in the Med' contained three guideline breaches

A BBC Trust investigation into the Panorama episode ‘Death in the Med’ has concluded the programme was “accurate and impartial” overall but contained three breaches of the corporation’s editorial guidelines.

‘Death in the Med’, broadcast on 16 August 2010, focused on events on the night of 31 May 2010, when Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara, which was part of an aid flotilla attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

Nine activists on board the ship – the largest in the flotilla – were killed and more than 50 passengers and nine Israeli soldiers were injured.

The Trust received 19 appeals against the programme, which it said raised 51 substantive points for consideration. Only three were upheld by the Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC) –  two in relation to accuracy and one on impartiality.

Click to here to see the BBC  press release, or here for a full report on the Trust’s findings.

A BBC spokesperson said: rama/BBC Trust

BBC News welcomes the findings of the Trust on the Panorama ‘Death in the Med’. We are pleased that the Trust found that the film achieved “due impartiality and due accuracy” and did not uphold the complaint overall. We also welcome the Trust’s conclusion that the film was “an original, illuminating and well-researched piece of journalism” and that “Panorama performed a valuable public service”. We note that the Trust upheld three out of the 51 points of complaint and we will consider seriously any lessons to be learned. We note that the Trust also remarked it is unlikely that a current affairs programme such as this, covering such a contentious issue, would be found to be entirely flawless if it were subjected to the level of deconstruction and analysis that Death in the Med has undergone.

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