BBC apology over airgun shooting story

The BBC has apologised about mistakes it made during a recent story broadcast on their evening news programme in the north of England.

The story involved Maureen Comley from Lincoln who was hit by an air rifle pellet as she sat outside her home. BBC Look North (Yorkshire & Humberside) covered the story with a pre-recorded report, a live interview with a reporter, and a live studio interview in which BASC argued that a series of mistakes were made. As well as factual errors BASC said that because no one from the shooting community was asked to comment, the story was biased. 

BBC output editor, Mark Hyman, said: “I accept that Peter Levy (Look North presenter) was wrong to say that fourteen year olds can go out and buy lethal barrelled weapons.”  Mr Hyman added: “We didn’t intentionally set out to mislead the audience, but clearly the discussion moved to an area we weren’t as prepared for as we should have been.” 

Following complaints by BASC and members of the local shooting community BBC Look North produced a follow-up story which included an interview with a BASC firearms expert. Mark Hayman ended his letter by saying: “I would welcome the chance to discuss stories which would allow us an insight into the clubs and the safe use of air weapons.” BASC is always keen to promote safe shooting and looks forward to working with the BBC to this end. 

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