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IRIS 2018-1:1/17


CAC Report on news coverage of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils

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Mònica Duran Ruiz

Catalan Audiovisual Council

On 13 September 2017, the Catalan Audiovisual Council (CAC) published its Report analysing the news coverage of the attacks that took place in Barcelona and Cambrils on 17 and 18 August 2017 on seven television channels (TV3, 3/24, 8tv, La1, Canal 24H, Antena 3 TV and Telecinco), and three radio stations (Catalunya Ràdio, Catalunya Informació and RAC1). In addition, the 152-page Report also looks at audiovisual content about the attacks found on the internet, specifically on video-sharing platforms.

All of the channels analysed first reported on the Barcelona attack between 5.09 p.m. (3/24) and 5.38 p.m. (La1) in various formats, with the exception of 8tv, which did so via a link-up with RAC1 at 7.54pm. Following the attack in Cambrils, the time when the news broke ranged from 1.18 a.m. (RAC1) and 2 a.m. (TV3 and 3/24, which broadcast it simultaneously, and Telecinco) to 7.02 a.m. (8tv, via a link-up with RAC1).

As soon as each channel started reporting on the attack on La Rambla, they changed their schedule to special news broadcasts that continued until the evening news (TV3 and 3/24, La1 and Canal 24H, Antena 3 TV) or that replaced the news programme (Catalunya Ràdio and RAC1). During the evening, only Telecinco and 8tv broadcast part of their usual schedule. TV3, 3/24, La1, Canal 24H, Telecinco and Antena 3 TV continued reporting on the attack after the evening news broadcast. On the two radio stations the special news broadcasts went on until midnight. Likewise, all channels changed their schedule on the morning of 18 August 2017 to special news broadcasts (TV3 and 3/24, La1 and Canal 24H), as well as changing the normal broadcast location to report on the attacks (all channels). With regard to the usual news programmes, the 17 August evening news and 18 August midday news were devoted entirely to the attacks.

As for the items analysed in the Report, the first section examines how the events were reported in the first 24 hours: the information sources used (recommendations 1.1 and 1.3); the communication of messages of public interest (recommendation 1.1); respect for the presumption of innocence of people involved in the attacks (recommendation 1.2); the provision of contextual information by involving experts (recommendation 1.4); the terms used to describe the attacks (recommendation 1.5); and the use of audiovisual resources for sensory effects (recommendations 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6).

The second section deals with victims' privacy and image rights: the right to personal image and privacy of the victims of the attacks (recommendation 2.1.) and the presence of minors (recommendation 2.4). Lastly, the CAC report also looked at the audiovisual content about the attacks on internet video-sharing platforms.

Consell de l’Audiovisual de Catalunya, El tractament informatiu dels atemptats a Barcelona i a Cambrils (17 i 18 d’agost de 2017), 13 de setembre de 2017 CA
  Catalan Audiovisual Council, News coverage of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils (17 and 18 August 2017), 13 September 2017 EN