Animal Aid

TODAY IN THE TIMES - Animal Aid win BBC apology

Posted 1 April 2004
How The Times reported on the Today ruling.

The BBC governors have rebuked the makers of Radio 4's Today programme and ordered them to apologise to Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler for the way it edited a recorded interview with him that was broadcast January 27; this was the day the news broke that Cambridge University was to abandon its plans for the research centre.

Andrew's interview was carefully edited to omit two key facts: that Prescott's own Inspector ruled against the University and that, as a consequence, we were now taking Prescott to court.

While Andrew was ruthlessly edited, Colin Blakemore of the Medical Research Council and a spokesman for the University were allowed free rein in the studio to create the impression that the University's decision to abandon its plans was a victory for moronic violence over democracy.

Blakemore was even allowed to state - unchallenged - that reasoned argument played no part in the objectors' case. The BBC admitted that it was 'unfair' to allow Blakemore to make this statement unchallenged.

An article in The Times described the governors' decision as 'the first major ruling involving the current affairs programme since the Hutton report':

Times, April 28, 2004
Unfair Today attacked by BBC governors

By Adam Sherwin, Media Reporter

"The BBC Governors have warned the Radio 4 Today programme to ensure accuracy and fairness to contributors after upholding part of a complaint from an anti-vivisection group.

"In the first major ruling involving the current-affairs programme since the Hutton report, the Governors issued a rebuke to the programme's editors. Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, complained that his case had been misrepresented in a January report about Cambridge University's decision not to pursue plans to create a primate research centre. The BBC Governors' Programme Complaints Unit found that the report failed to properly distance Animal Aid from violent anti-vivisection activists, unfairly questioned Mr Tyler's scientific credentials and featured "clumsy editing" of his comments."

  • Find out more about the campaign against the Cambridge primate research labs.
    For the full background, scientific reports and latest news see the Cambridge index.

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