No ban on depictions of prophet Mohamed as BBC changes guidelines

"Programme makers have freedom to exercise their editorial judgement"

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The Independent Online

The BBC is to revise its editorial guidelines after stating that it did not operate a ban on broadcasting depictions of the prophet Mohamed.

During this week’s Question Time, presenter David Dimbleby said it was BBC policy not to depict the prophet.

He read from the BBC’s editorial guidelines a statement: “The prophet Mohamed must not be represented in any shape or form.”

The supposed ban prompted outrage from audience members, following the Charlie Hebdo attacks.


However that guidance has now been removed after the BBC said there was no formal ban.

A BBC spokesman said: “This guidance is old, out of date and does not reflect the BBC’s long-standing position that programme makers have freedom to exercise their editorial judgement with the Editorial Policy team available to provide advice around sensitive issues on a case by case basis. The guidance is currently being revised.”

The BBC had shown a brief image of a Charlie Hebdo cover, featuring an illustration of the Prophet, during its news coverage of the attacks.