Not for the first time I have to correct your columnist Chris Shaw.
his article last week (“Bombings and arrests put news ethics in the
docks”) about amateur footage being used in television news, Chris
refers to a letter from the Chartered Institute of Journalists. This
letter was published in a previous edition of Press Gazette and made
false claims about London Tonight’s appeal to viewers for amateur
footage, incorrectly quoting London Tonight as stating: “We want the
viewer to feel part of the exciting world of newsgathering.”
ITN pointed out to Press Gazette and the CIoJ last week, London Tonight
made no such statement. In his article, Chris has lifted the false
claim from the letter and repeated the incorrect quote.
goes on to refer to ITN’s exclusive footage of the arrest of two
alleged terrorists which had been purchased from a resident by ITN and
the Daily Mail. Chris says he was “told” that there was “significant
pressure” on ITV News to share the scoop with Channel 4 News. There was
no such pressure, neither was there need for any. The agreements
between ITN and Channel 4 provide Channel 4 News with routine access to
material gathered by ITV News. This particular footage was carried on
Channel 4 News at 7pm following its first broadcast on ITV1 at 6.30pm.
the footage was passed on to Channel 4 News as soon as it became
available, allowing Channel 4 News time to maximise its use.
David Mannion editor-in-chief, ITV News