The BBC has started issuing on-air cautions for user-generated material it broadcasts, following research showing that three quarters of amateur footage used during the Arab spring was not accompanied by warnings about its provenance.
The corporation now alerts viewers when it has not been able to independent verify pictures or video taken by members of the public, according to a BBC Trust report published on Tuesday.
The Trust said the BBC introduced on-air warnings following a review of its Arab spring coverage, published in June 2012. Edward Mortimer, the former foreign affairs commentator who authored last year's BBC Trust report, said at the time he was "surprised" to learn that 74% of 171 items of the user-generated footage sample in its content analysis carried no caveats about authenticity. The BBC has a unit which specialises in authenticating such material before it is used and it is possible that authentication occurred but was not mentioned.
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