Caption: Naga Munchetty wins award for work on BBC Breakfast Provider: BBC
Naga Munchetty has been found to have been ‘in breach of BBC rules’ by liking tweets regarding BBC’s Breakfast’s Union Jack spat, but will not face punishment.
In March this year, TV presenter Charlie Stayt caused a stir on social media when, during an interview with Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on the BBC morning programme, he made a dig about the size of the politician’s Union Jack flag in the background.
Naga could be heard laughing in the background and liked several tweets about the incident.
However, she later apologised for liking tweets ‘that were offensive in nature about the use of the British flag as a backdrop in a government interview this morning’, saying that she had removed the likes.
In a statement published on the BBC’s website, the broadcaster explained that their Executive Complaints Unit received complaints from 16 viewers, who argued that the remarks from Charlie and Naga over the Union Jack flag and the portrait of the Queen in the background ‘showed an offensive lack of respect towards the monarch and the national flag’.
‘11 of them complained about subsequent social media activity by Ms Munchetty, in which she “liked” a number of Twitter comments about the incident expressing views to which they took exception,’ the statement outlined.
Charlie Stayt left Naga Munchetty laughing over his remark (Picture: BBC One)
Robert Jenrick smiled as Charlie Stayt made his parting comment on the flag (Picture: BBC)
The BBC said that it was ‘evident’ that the comment Charlie made about the MP’s flag ‘was humorously intended’ due to there being ‘laughter audible in the studio’.
After the interview, when Naga ‘drew attention to the portrait of the Queen in Mr Jenrick’s office’, it’s said that this ‘continued in a jocular vein’.
According to the ECU, it’s understood that ‘the target of the humour was the prevalence of patriotic symbols as a backdrop for ministerial interviews, not what those symbols represent’.
Therefore, the ECU concluded that ‘any offence on the part of the viewers arose from a misunderstanding of the presenters’ intentions’, and so these complaints were not upheld.
However, when it came to Naga’s ‘subsequent social media activity’, the ECU ‘noted that she has “liked” a number of tweets that were disparaging of the Government’s use of patriotic symbols (one of which used strong language)’.
The unit explained that this activity was at risk of ‘giving the impression of endorsing one strand of opinion in a controversial area’, which was ‘in breach of the BBC’s standards of impartiality’ when it comes to social media guidelines for BBC employees who work within factual programming and journalism.
Nonetheless, as Naga removed the Twitter ‘likes’ before the complaints had made their way to the ECU and apologised publicly on Twitter, clarifying that the tweets she had liked ‘did not represent her own views or those of the BBC’, the complaints over her social media activity have not been upheld.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.