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05/06/07
Channel 4 Rejects William and Harry Censorship Bid
- Broadcaster cites 'public interest' in showing images of post-crash Diana

Channel 4 Rejects William and Harry Censorship Bid. Copyright Channel 4.PRINCES WILLIAM and Harry have tried to censor a Channel 4 programme about their mother, Princess Diana.

First, William and Harry got their press office to write to Channel 4 requesting it scrap plans to broadcast an image of Diana being given medical treatment in the immediate aftermath of the car crash that killed her ten years ago tomorrow.

"If it were your or my mother dying in that tunnel, would we want the scene broadcast to the nation? Indeed, would the nation so want it?" asked the Princes' aide, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, in the letter sent last Friday.

Second, having failed to get the response they wanted, the Princes made public the letter, presumably in a bid to drum up support for a witch-hunt against the programme-makers.

"In publishing the letter, the princes reluctantly feel that they have been left no choice but to make it clear publicly that they believe the broadcast of these photographs to be wholly inappropriate," read a statement put out on behalf of William and Harry.

Contrary to Lowther-Pinkerton's implication, pictures of dead people turn up in the media on a daily basis as, for instance, victims of crime or war.

If anything, Channel 4 have bent over backwards to the royals as, unlike other pictures of the dead, they have masked Diana's face in the image which appears in Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel. As a comparison, pictures of John F. Kennedy's assassination, including shots of his head exploding, are screened regularly and the deaths of racing drivers, such as Ayrton Senna have been shown live.

Also, Diana's death is a news story carrying wider implications than the death of "your or my mother", as revealed in the on-going legal inquiry into the matter.

One of those implications is the role of the media and especially the paparazzi photographers in the accident in a Paris tunnel that led to Diana's death, which is the specific angle of the programme.

This was the point that led Channel 4 to reject the Princes views. "We have weighed the princes' concerns against the legitimate public interest we believe there is in the subject of this documentary and in the still photography it includes," said Julian Bellamy, the channel's boss.

Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel screens at 9pm Wednesday 6 June.

More Diana info here



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