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BBC apologises for airgun story

The story involved Maureen Comley, from Lincoln, who was hit by an air rifle pellet as she sat outside her home. BBC Look North (Yorkshire & Humberside region) covered the story with a prerecorded report, a live interview with a reporter and a live studio interview in which BASC argued that a series of mistakes had been made. As well as factual errors, BASC said that because no-one from the shooting community was asked to comment, the story was biased.

BBC output editor, Mark Hyman, commented: “I accept that Peter Levy [the Look North presenter] was wrong to say that 14-year-olds can go out and buy lethal barrelled weapons [sic].” Mr Hyman added, “We didn’t intentionally set out to mislead the audience, but clearly the discussion moved to an area we were not as prepared for as we should have been.”

Following complaints by BASC and members of the local shooting community, BBC Look North produced a follow-up story which included an interview with a BASC firearms expert. Mark Hayman concluded: “I would welcome the chance to discuss stories which would allow us an insight into the clubs and the safe use of airguns.”

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