“The movements of those reporting from Baghdad are restricted and their reports are monitored by the Iraqi authorities.”
That footnote was added to BBC News articles produced in 2003 (see examples here and here) and its purpose is very clear: to alert BBC audiences to the possibility of inaccuracies and/or compromised impartiality in reporting as a result of the restrictions imposed on journalists by a dictatorial regime.
As the Guardian reported at the time:
“The Times journalist Janine di Giovanni has also said that the demands of real-time television, combined with the restrictions placed on reporters in Baghdad by the Iraqis and the difficulties of getting to the front line are making it virtually impossible for journalists to cover the war properly.”
The addition of written or spoken footnotes to reporting from Iraq was not uncommon in BBC coverage at the time and the corporation obviously considered that it…
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