The BBC Board of Governors upheld a complaint against Barbara Plett (pictured) for coverage of Yasser Arafat leaving Ramallah. On October 30, 2004, Plett told listeners of “From Our Own Correspondent“:
“Yet when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose from his ruined compound, I started to cry … without warning.”
The Board of Governors ruled that Plett’s description of her own tears “did breach the requirements of due impartiality as the complainant had suggested,” overruling a previous BBC ruling on the complaint.
Interestingly, Chairman of the Governor’s Programme Complaints Committee Richard Tait noted in a cover letter that the majority of overall complaints dealt with Mideast coverage, reminding readers that the governors established a special inquiry to investigate this very area of reporting.