You can read my complaint here: http://nandosigona.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/the-olmazu-case-why-so-much-interest/
“Dear Dr Sigona
Thanks for your e-mail regarding the ‘BBC News At Ten’ as broadcast on 8 November.
I understand that you feel the story concerning Lavinia Olmazu was misleading and completely different from the story which ran on the website.
Whilst the online article you refer to specifically referred to the Lavinia Olmazu case, the report during the ‘News at Ten’ sought to explain this case amidst other such criminal activity.
The footage did not seek to provide stereotypical representations of Romany people as you suggest, it was clearly stated during the report that the footage was of recent raids by Romanian and British police following joint investigations into child trafficking and benefit fraud, this included footage from both Romania and the UK.
We felt the report gave deeper insight into the wider matter at hand (benefit fraud).
I hope this addresses your concerns and I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is daily report of audience feedback which is circulated to BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive board, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions on future BBC programmes and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us”
Should I or anyone in the public be reassured that the BBC is telling me that they ‘didn’t ‘seek to provide a stereotypical representation of Romany people’? To me, instead, it looks like they succeeded in doing it very well!
I also think the response confirms in full my point about them using unrelated footage without even feeling the need to attempt to justify it. What was the link between the footage from an alleged child trafficking case and the Olmazu one? Or any old police investigation in Romania?
It is outrageous the BBC can get away with this just because the subject is a Romani person. Are they telling us ‘the Gypsies are all the same’? If an Italian is found guilty of fraud*, would the BBC uses footage from the arrest of the Mafia boss Toto Riina?
*The point I’m making is a general one. I also think the overall case has significant flaws but it would be too much to ask the BBC not to take at face value the result of the trial. Wouldn’t it?