Sky News will be investigated by UK broadcast regulator OfCom for its Malaysian crash coverage after host Colin Brazier sifted through a Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash victim’s belongings, the Guardian reported.
“There are grounds to investigate under our rule on potentially offensive material,” a spokesperson for OfCom told iMediaEthics by e-mail. “As in all investigations, we will take relevant circumstances into account, including any action taken by the broadcaster, in reaching a decision.”
The spokesperson added, “We aim to complete investigations within a 50 working day timeframe.”
Sky News had no comment about the OfCom investigation when reached by iMediaEthics.
In a live segment last month from the crash site, Brazier went through luggage and even confessed “we shouldn’t really be doing this, I suppose,” iMediaEthics reported at the time.
Sky News apologized for Brazier’s “inappropriate” actions and Brazier later apologized in a column for the Guardian.
OfCom told iMediaEthics July 23 that it had received 201 complaints over Sky News’ coverage of the crash.
Brazier wasn’t alone in going through the wreckage. ABC Australia reporter Phil Williams picked up and lifted items from the crash scene. Also, a Dutch reporter, Caroline Van Den Heuvel, read through a victim’s diary. Her station, EenVandaag, apologized.