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Where has the BBC’s Trafigura feature gone?

December 16th, 2009Posted by in Legal, Press freedom and ethics

In May 2009, Guardian head of investigations, David Leigh, reported that Trafigura was suing the BBC’s Newsnight programme for libel.

Seven months later on 10 December, Richard Wilson, of the Don’t Get Fooled Again blog, claimed that the BBC’s Trafigura feature from May 2009 had disappeared from the BBC’s site. The text, however, was still available via the Google cache. A video of the missing film soon appeared on YouTube.

Journalism.co.uk followed up this latest development – the disappearance of the feature on alleged dumping of toxic waste in Cote d’Ivoire – with BBC Newsnight, via its press office on Monday.

In response, after checking with the lawyers, a spokesperson said: “We haven’t got anything to say on this. As discussed earlier we are often not able to comment if there’s a live legal action.”

Trafigura’s law firm Carter-Ruck has not yet issued a statement, Journalism.co.uk was told when we contacted them for comment.

Yesterday, the New Statesman reported that the story had disappeared; Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, among others, then shared the NS article link on Twitter.

The full text of the feature and copy of the video has now appeared on Wikileaks.

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  • WikiLeaks released the text on the 12th and the video on the 14th, together with a summary of the issue. All other press is secondary (as usual) including that first listed in your article, the New Statesman, which did not cover the material until the 15th.

    Julian

  • Thanks for clarifying that Julian – it wasn’t intended as chronological list, although I now see that it looks like that.

    Although its work is rarely acknowledged by the press, it can normally be assumed Wikileaks was there first… (Minton Report, for example…)

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