OFCOM clear Gaddafi death footage

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has decided not to investigate hundreds of complaints from viewers over ‘gruesome’ footage.

The capture and subsequent death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on 20th October this year was documented by mobile phone footage and pictures which were broadcast around the world. At the time, the three main broadcasters in the UK received complaints regarding the footage.

Ofcom received hundreds of complaints about Sky News, ITN (ITV News and Channel 4 News) and BBC News. Their decision not to investigate they say is that the time spent on showing the footage was “appropriately limited”.

The BBC defended their use of the footage when Mary Hockaday, head of the multimedia at the BBC newsroom posted a statement a day after the screenings took place.

“In the age of mobile phones, footage of the capture of Gaddafi soon started to emerge… There were undoubtedly shocking and disturbing images… …But as a news organisation our role is to report what happened.

She added;

“The other challenge was posed by the nature of the footage itself – very graphic, some of it showing Gaddafi alive but manhandled and bloody and other footage and stills showing his dead and bloodied body. We judged that it was right to use some footage and stills, with warnings about their nature.”