Ofcom investigate broadcast of graphic Lee Rigby murder footage after receiving 700 complaints
Ofcom has launched an investigation into the broadcasting of graphic footage from the scene of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby after receiving more than 700 complaints from viewers.
BBC News, 5 News, ITV News, Channel 4 News and Sky News are among the broadcasters being investigated for showing the pre-watershed images.
The footage showed a man holding a knife in his blood-covered hands, with a body on the ground behind.
Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death in Woolwich on 22 May.
Ofcom received more than 700 complaints about the footage, showing one of alleged assailants attempting to justify his actions, which was filmed by a bystander on a mobile phone.
About half of the complaints were made against ITV News, which was the first to broadcast the footage on its 6.30pm bulletin on 22 May.
The regulator is looking into whether the broadcasters breached rules which state that children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from unsuitable material, shown before the 9pm watershed.
Broadcasters who use material which may cause offence have to demonstrate that it is justified by the context.
They must consider “the effect of the material on viewers or listeners who may come across it unawares”.
ITV News defended the decision to air the footage, which was preceded by a warning to viewers. A spokesman said: “It was editorially justified to show such footage in the aftermath of such a shocking attack.”
The broadcaster said it was in the “public interest” to screen the material since it was “integral to understanding the horrific incident”.
The BBC received just over 100 complaints over its use of the footage during various bulletins.
Ofcom has no jurisdiction over newspapers, which published graphic images of the attack on their front pages and websites.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
How to read Will Self: Unlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain