President’s Office Demands Apology from BBC Burmese Over Video Blunder

By Htet Naing Zaw 11 January 2019

NAYPYITAW—Myanmar’s President’s Office has demanded that the BBC publish an official apology for using effects while broadcasting live a press conference from the President’s Office on Monday.

The President’s Office on Wednesday sent a letter to Myanmar Press Council, asking them to ask the BBC to issue a formal apology. The council has said it would discuss what steps to take and reply to them, deputy director general of the President’s Office U Tint Swe told The Irrawaddy.

“As a branded media agency, they should not make such a mistake. They should be very careful because [they are] respected. We can’t accept them calling it an error or oversight. It is fine if they apologize. They can apologize on their official page,” he said.

As the BBC livestreamed the press conference on Monday evening at which the President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay spoke about Jan. 4 attacks carried out by the Arakan Army, the government spokesperson appeared with video effects applied to his face.

Nearly an hour later, the BBC said it was very sorry for the incident and that it stopped the livestream immediately after it spotted the mistake.

However, officials at the President’s Office said that saying sorry is not enough of an apology. The BBC reporter who was responsible for the livestreaming of the press conference wrote a sorry note and posted it on his Facebook page.

The Press Council confirmed that it received the letter from the President’s Office, and will mediate on the situation.