BBC Reprimands Reporter Who 'Cried' about Arafat's Death

Reuters reports:

The British Broadcasting Corporation has upheld a complaint against one of its journalists who said in a radio report she cried when a dying Yasser Arafat was flown from the West Bank in 2004.

Barbara Plett made the remark in a dispatch for the "From Our Own Correspondent" program describing how she felt when a helicopter carrying Arafat, who was gravely ill, took off from his compound, according to a BBC Web site.

"When the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose from his ruined compound, I started to cry," she said in the 30 October, 2004 broadcast.

Plett was punished because she "breached the requirements of due impartiality."

On the BBC's website, Helen Boaden, the director of news, says Barbara Plett "unintentionally gave the impression of over-identifying with Yasser Arafat and his cause".

Foreign Policy