Open Letter to BBC World Report

To: Richard Porter, Head of News, BBC

From: The Board of Directors

Re: BBC World report of 4:57 pm EDT, 9/11/2001

Mr. Porter:

In light of the recent controversy regarding the BBC World report referenced above, which inaccurately reported that WTC 7 had collapsed more than 20 minutes before it did, and the unfortunately inadequate response (see you have offered thus far to the controversy, we at must ask that you answer the following pertinent questions:

1. It appears very unlikely that your reporter in Manhattan, Jane Standley, would have been the original source for the story, since she would not have seen any 47-story building collapse on or before the time of her report. So who or what was the source of the claim Standley reported, that WTC 7 had collapsed?

2. According to BBC Head of News Richard Porter’s statement,

In the chaos and confusion of the day, I’m quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate – but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did – sourced our reports, used qualifying words like “apparently” or “it’s reported” or “we’re hearing” and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.


9/11: Blueprint for Truth - WTC Building 7 - 10 minute Segment from Companion Edition

If this is true, please tell us what work was done by the BBC to confirm this specific claim?

3. If the BBC could not establish the veracity of the claim prior to air time, why was the claim taken to be authoritative?

Surely BBC World can understand that the best way to reduce ungrounded speculation in the case of inaccurate reporting about a controversial event is to answer openly and all questions pertinent to the inaccuracy. We certainly hope that BBC World is interested in clearing up this embarrassing matter, and await your timely reply.

The Board of Directors

See related:

New Evidence concerning explosions in WTC 7 Collapse

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