Bob Geldof and false claims from the BBC

Posted on November 8, 2010

 

Last week the BBC had to apologise to Sir Bob Geldof about a report broadcast on the World Service earlier this year. It alleged that most of the $100 million raised by Band Aid and Live Aid for the starving people of Ethiopia had been used by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to buy weapons to continue the violent conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

Although this was first vaunted as a solid piece of journalism it eventually transpired that it was nothing of the sort and was unsubstantiated. Without any independent checking, the story was broadcast on the Six O’Clock news on BBC One, reaching a national audience. The damage done to the charitable efforts of Band Aid and Live Aid was serious, with many people being deterred from giving to good causes and the image of Geldof’s charities tarnished for many months.

This illustrates the necessity of using reputable sources and checking that facts are true before publishing or broadcasting. Freelance journalists have the skills to write good copy and their reputation depends upon protecting their sources and producing the truth. Reputable article submission services use their work because they know this to be true and can guarantee the work to their clients.

In today’s fast, internet communicating world it is vital that business websites use true copy from professional writers, otherwise they could end up embroiled in the sort of mess in which the BBC currently finds itself. Once trust has been broken, it takes a long time to re-build a customer base.

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