Channel 4 investigated over Westminster attack error



Jon SnowImage copyright
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Image caption

Jon Snow apologised to viewers for the error

Channel 4 News is to be investigated by Ofcom over its coverage of the Westminster terrorist attack.

Last month, Khalid Masood killed four people when he drove a car into people on London’s Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer.

That evening’s edition of Channel 4 News initially named a different individual as the attacker.

The error quickly came to light and presenter Jon Snow apologised at the end of the programme.

The broadcaster then pulled a repeat of the episode from the Channel 4 +1 service.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Channel 4 apologised to viewers for the error

Ofcom said it received 12 complaints about the programme.

“We’re investigating this news item on the recent Westminster attack, which named the wrong person as being responsible,” a spokesman said.

The broadcasting regulator noted the individual named by Channel 4 News was in prison at the time of the attack.

‘Conflicting information’

After the broadcast, Channel 4 News apologised to viewers for the error in a statement.

The programme’s editor, Ben de Pear, later said: “This was a fast-moving story and while we were on air conflicting information came to light which we then worked to corroborate.

“During the course of the programme we acted swiftly to correct and clarify the information.”

Broadcasting rules state there must be due accuracy in news reporting and significant mistakes should be acknowledged and corrected on air quickly.

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