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11/17/06

Call for Telegraphs 'Bin Laden story' to be investigated by the PCC

Press Release by Campaign Iran

 

A complaint was lodged with the Press Complaints Commission today against the Daily Telegraph following a headline article claiming that Iran was grooming bin Laden’s successor. The complaint, lodged by Campaign Iran, will be investigated by the PCC to see whether it breaches Clause 1 of their Code of Practice prohibiting inaccuracy.

 

The story appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, the day that most broadsheets led with Tony Blair’s suggestion that Iran can be a “partner for peace”. The Telegraph’s headline, “Iran plots to groom bin Laden’s successor”, and article was supposedly based on information from unnamed “Western intelligence officials”. The timing of the article raised questions as to whether it was calculated to counter any possibility of dialogue with Tehran and experts immediately and unanimously dismissed the story as highly unlikely. Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, pointed out that the idea that the Shia administration in Iran bolstering Sunni extremism in the region was nonsensical.

 

Professor Abbas Edalat of CASMII said today:

“The quoting of unnamed sources has always been an essential aspect of news reporting yet it is becoming increasingly discredited as journalists and editors abuse the practice in order to give substance otherwise implausible political stories. And yet stories like this, designed to fix a link between Iran and al-Qa’eda in the public mind, get written and are repeated as fact on news outlets and websites across the world. They cannot be challenged because the unnamed source can never be revealed. During the build-up to the invasion of Iraq there was disquiet among the intelligence community about the way in which their intelligence was being ‘spun’. We must be vigilant against similar tactics being used to prepare the path for intervention against Iran, and we call on the PCC to safeguard the integrity and accuracy of our press.”

 

The complaint to the PCC has been made against editor of the Daily Telegraph as well as its two political editors, Con Coughlin and George Jones.

 

Campaign Iran was formed last month with the merger of three UK-based, single issue campaign groups against war and sanctions on Iran (CASMII - Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran, Action Iran, CASMII UK and Iran Solidarity.

 

 

 

... Payvand News - 11/17/06 ... --



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