ITV News Apologizes for Airing Video Game Clip in Documentary on IRA and Gaddafi

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The UK Sun put an image from the video game Arma 2 (left) side-by-side with a screenshot from the now-removed ITV News report (right). (Credit: the Sun, screenshot)

The UK’s ITV News was duped into airing fake images on a Sept. 26 episode of its new show Exposure Sept. 26, the Guardian reported. Exposure is described as a “current affairs show” and documentary program.

While ITV News thought it was aired images of “the IRA supposedly shooting down a helicopter with weapons supplied by Muammar Gaddafi” in 1988, it turns out the images came from a video game called Arma 2, according to the Guardian.  The Sun explained that the video game is set in a made-up country called Chernarus.

The Exposure episode focused on “the relationship between” Gaddafi and the IRA.

ITV News claims that it just made an error and has “actual footage of the incident,” the Guardian reported.   ITV News has taken down the episode from its website, but reportedly stated it will replace the episode with the “correct footage.”  According to the Guardian, ITV News plans to replace the segent with the “correct footage” Sept. 29.

The Associated Press noted that  the 1988 attack ITV says it has footage of “has never been seen publicly before.”  According to the UK Sun, ITV News issued an apology Sept. 27 for the phony footage.

The Guardian suggested that ITV News obtained the phony footage from YouTube.

According to a statement from ITV News:

 “The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers.

“This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise.”

The BBC stated that PC Gamer website was the first to question the footage. noted that UK regulator Ofcom has stated at least 25 complaints have been filed over the episode.

iMediaEthics has written to ITV News and will update with any response.

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ITV News Apologizes for Airing Video Game Clip in Documentary on IRA and Gaddafi

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