How the BBC plants a seed of doubt regarding G20 footage

The BBC reports on the latest video footage that has emerged, showing G20 protesters being hit by police.

The video, by Camp for Climate Action, shows IT worker Alex Cinnane being banged with a shield on the side of his head. In a second incident a man is punched in the face by a police officer.

The BBC adds:

‘The video, which was edited before it was released, does not show Mr Cinnane making any threatening behaviour towards the police officer.’

Thus the BBC plants a seed of doubt in the mind of the reader.

As if everything the BBC shows isn’t also ‘edited’. In fact, all video is ‘edited’ from the moment someone switches on the camera and starts recording.

They point the camera in a particular direction and, by doing so, select what to show. They decide when to start recording and when to stop. That’s before they load the footage into editing software and begin rearranging and cutting it.

Anyone who makes a video, whether they are the BBC or an individual, is in the same position. No video can ever show any more than a tiny slice of what happened and it is disingenuous of the BBC to suggest otherwise.

Of course what the BBC really means is that it can be trusted to edit video to give a true impression of what really happened and we can’t.

Interesting, as earlier this week I came across another example where the BBC published a false crowd figure for the Manchester Pride parade (see photo number 5). 250,000 again instead of 50,000.

As a footnote, it’s interesting to see that both The Times and The Telegraph have embedded the full Camp For Climate Action video.


  • amba says:

    if this film was intended to show the police in a bad light,well done,but how do you feel about like minded people releasing footage of these poor protesters hitting,verbally abusing the police.where also was the footage of 4 young men smashing a huge hole in a glass building?i understand people have right to object to the horrible things that are happening in what was once a great world but common sense and honesty should have played a part when making this film.both groups acted in a way i hope to never see but as always its the selected few that made the headlines.

  • Gary says: I agree with you. That day I watched the live coverage on TV and around 1pm I saw one protestor run forward and hit a policeman over the head with a 4 foot pole. At that time, none of those police were wearing riot equipment. Needless to say, it’s rare to see anything like that shown in a video made by activists.

    Friends will tell that I have been critical of ‘news’ items that have posted on sites like IndyMedia. When I have been at a particular event and knew that what was reported was exaggerated and embroidered so that it sounded better.

    But the police are busy briefing and misleading the media and much of the mainstream media has an agenda too. You just have to try and sift through it all and form an opinion.

    I don’t support violence from either side and I’m not anti-police. In the things I do I’m committed to reporting accurately to the best of my ability. But we all have opinions and subjects we’re particularly interested in.

    The point is that a police officer shouldn’t punch someone in the face or hit them with a shield unless that person is an imminent threat to that officer. In the case of the man who was hit with the shield, he had his head turned away at the time and the video shows about seven seconds leading up to that blow.

    So editing really doesn’t come into to it and it is disingenuous of the BBC to suggest otherwise.

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