U.K.'s BBC to Probe Reports of Censorship of Its News in Malaysia

A recent YouTube clip showed a heavily edited BBC report about anti-government protests in Malaysia that cut out key scenes.


LONDON - The BBC has ordered an "urgent" probe into reports that its news reports are being heavily edited and censored by a Malaysian satellite TV provider that carries BBC content, the Independent reported.

The news comes after a YouTube clip emerged of a BBC World News report about anti-government protests in Malaysia. The clip from Astro, which carries the BBC network, had been heavily edited. Among the scenes cut out where shots of police firing a water cannon, a protester saying that police had opened fire on the demonstrators and a man claiming elections in Malaysia were not clean, the Independent said.

At stake in the review is the BBC's national and global reputation for neutral news coverage. U.K. media regulator Ofcom is already investigating a "news fixing" scandal involving BBC World News and other global broadcasters.

In a statement, the BBC said: "The BBC is making urgent inquiries to the Malaysian operator, Astro, to establish the facts."

A BBC spokesman added: "During the week of World Press Freedom Day, it would be deplorable if access to independent and impartial news was being prevented in any way. We would strongly condemn any blocking of the trusted news that we broadcast around the world, including via distribution partners."

Al Jazeera has also complained that its coverage of the protests has been edited by Astro.

Astro said it was "surprised and somewhat disappointed" by the BBC's reaction.

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