On February 13th the BBC’s world affairs correspondent Paul Adams sent this Tweet to over ten thousand followers.
As readers can see for themselves, the video purporting to show the “West Bank barrier” is in fact a loop of the same footage shown over and over again in which the same graffiti appears repeatedly every few seconds.
Over 90% of the anti-terrorist fence is exactly that: a fence constructed from wire mesh. Only a small proportion is constructed from concrete slabs of the type shown in Adams’ manipulated video.
Those familiar with the reports produced by Paul Adams when he was ‘parachuted’ into the Gaza Strip during last summer’s conflict will not be very surprised by this inaccurate, misleading and context-free representation of the anti-terrorist fence. Apparently a previous Twitter gaffe by Adams in which he hastily promoted inaccurate information to his followers, leading them to believe that the son of a BBC employee in the Gaza Strip had been killed in an Israeli airstrike, did not prompt him to refresh his knowledge of BBC guidelines on the use of social media.
“Impartiality is a particular concern for those working in News and Current Affairs. Nothing should appear on their personal blogs or microblogs which undermines the integrity or impartiality of the BBC.”
The BBC’s reputation for integrity and impartiality is not strengthened when, apropos of nothing, a BBC correspondent decides to upload to his Twitter account intentionally edited video footage bereft of any context and misrepresenting a politically contentious issue.