BBC News Media Correction in a Misreport of Sindika Dokolo

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On February 6 2019, BBC finally agreed to correct their reporting, correcting the fact that Mr Sindika Dokolo was never and had not legitimately been accused of any crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo (or any other jurisdiction).

Defamation law posted on BBC website states: Journalists must operate within legal and ethical guidelines. Defamatory statements are those which ‘tend’ to expose a person to ‘hatred, ridicule or contempt’, cause them to be ‘shunned or avoided’ or lowered in the estimation of ‘right-thinking members of society’.

Journalism is about finding facts, interpreting their importance, and then sharing that information with the audience. In this case, the fact checking missed the fact that the judge in Democratic Republic of Congo who had made an unsubstantiated and false judgement, of fraud, was arrested and jailed.

FreedomHouse.org states that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, civilians and opposition politicians are unable to influence government policies through elections. Civil liberties—including freedom of expression and association—are repressed, and corruption is systemic throughout the government.

Armed groups and insecurity are pervasive in many areas of the country, and state security forces have been implicated in human rights abuses.

On July 2016, a judge in the Democratic Republic of Congo has said she was pressured by the intelligence service to convict opposition politician as reported on BBC news.

This is something that GAN has raised as a red flag: GAN the Business Anti-Corruption Portal recent report describes DRCongo judicial institutions having been plagued with widespread corruption and poses a high risk for companies

Approximately a third of all surveyed companies identified the courts as a constraint to doing business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is reassuring that media like British Broadcasting Corporation can recognise to right a wrong that has been done, in the fact checking.

 

 



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