BBC Philippines Accused SMNI of Stealing Footage without Permission



The Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) was accused of stealing footage from BBC Philippines allegedly without permission.

After allegedly spotting SMNI exploiting their video without authorization, a BBC News Philippines journalist responds. According to a tweet from the BBC’s Howard Johnson, the film was shot near Scarborough Shoal by their network.

According to Johnson, neither the BBC News team in Manila nor the BBC News team in London has sought permission to use the tape. Scarborough Shoal footage, according to him, was broadcast on BBC World News in July 2021.

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Johnson, together with BBC producer Virma Simonette Rivera and fishermen from Pangasinan province, sailed to Scarborough in 2021 to film the removal of Filipinos from the resource-rich waters where they had traditionally fished. Furthermore, the film is not accessible for purchase on the Getty website, a third-party site where news organizations may buy BBC material.

The footage was mixed with an SMNI trailer in which anchors chanted, “Have a strong stand for what is right, will not betray the people, and we will not be traded for anyone.” The trailer was shown during a debate between four presidential candidates held at the Okada Manila hotel in Paraaque City on Tuesday night and broadcast live on SMNI.

Meanwhile, a journalist “shall not commit any act of plagiarism,” according to the Philippine Press Institute’s Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Plagiarism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.” A journalist must also “resort only to fair and honest methods in my effort to obtain news, photographs, and/or documents,” according to the ethics code.

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