ITN and two of its journalists received a High Court apology yesterday over allegations that they deceived the public by fabricating news coverage of detention camps set up by the Bosnian Serbs.
Penny Marshall, Ian Williams and an ITN camera team were among the first reporters allowed into the camps at Omarska and Trnopolje in August 1992. Muslims were being held in appalling conditions. Reporters on ITV and Channel 4 aroused international opinion to intervene in the Yugoslavian conflict, and their reports received a number of awards.
In January this year Two-Ten Communications, a press release distribution company, circulated a release from the journal Living Marxism about a forthcoming article by a German journalist, Thomas Deichmann. It said that images of barbed wire at the camps had been created by camera angles and editing, and had "fooled the world".
Two-Ten accepted that was untrue, and issued an apology with costs. Karen Mason, its solicitor, apologised for "very real distress and damage" to ITN and its reporters, and said, "Two-Ten Communications distributes releases word for word as provided by its clients without any editorial input or amendment."