Evening Standard and BBC told to ‘hire black journalists’ after MP mix-up

The paper incorrectly published a picture of Bell Ribeiro-Addy alongside Dawn Butler in a story about a similar mistake by the BBC

MIXED-UP: From left to right, MPs Dawn Butler, Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Marsha de Cordova

THE EVENING Standard has been told to ‘hire black journalists’ after it wrongly pictured Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy in an article about the BBC mixing up Brent Central MP Dawn Butler and Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova.

Among those to highlight the paper’s mistake was journalist Omar Baggili.

He wrote on Twitter: “So @standardnews have just done a story on the BBC blunder where they’ve mistaken @DawnButlerBrent for @MarshadeCordova and they’ve just used a picture of @BellRibeiroAddy. For the love of God! It’s not that difficult!”

“Diversity matters. This cannot continue”

Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea

The Evening Standard story had sought to illustrate the BBC’s mistake of captioning footage of De Cordova speaking in the Commons with Butler’s name but instead became at the centre of controversy itself.

In an apology posted on Twitter, the Evening Standard said: “@standardnews would like to apologise unreservedly for the image that featured Bell Ribeiro-Addy and not Marsha de Cordova. It had been wrongly captioned by one of our picture suppliers, Getty Images. We have apologised to both @MarshadeCordova and @BellRibeiroAddy this morning.”

ERROR: Journalist Omar Baggili was among those to highlight the Evening Standard’s mistake

But the statement has prompted further criticism from those who say the paper is trying to shift the blame on to Getty Images.

Voice columnist Lester Holloway said all of the organisations involved needed to “hire black staff”.

Butler who is running for Labour deputy leader, said yesterday, following the BBC’s blunder: “I love my sister @MarshadeCordova but we are two different people. Marsha is amazing and deserves to be called by her own name.”

De Cordova used the incident to highlight the importance of diversity.

“@BBCPolitics @BBCParliament. This is what happens when the media does not represent the society it reports on.

“Representation matters. Diversity matters. This cannot continue,” she tweeted.

The BBC issued an apology for the error.

It said: “We sincerely apologise for this mistake. Sometimes we incorrectly identify MPs at the moment when they stand to speak. This error was immediately corrected on screen.”

Last week the BBC was slammed for using footage of LeBron James in a segment about Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

In 2019, the BBC came under fire when a presenter referred to joint Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo as “another author”.

Referencing the judges’ decision to award the prize to two writers, presenter Shaun Ley said: “They gave it to Margaret Atwood and another author, who shared the prize between them.”

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