Penny Marshall (journalist)

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Penny Marshall is a British journalist, working for BBC News as Education Editor.

She is a graduate of the London School of Economics where she was active as a student journalist. Marshall established herself as a television news foreign correspondent during the 1980s and 90s, when she was based in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This work won awards, including an RTS, an EMMY, and a BAFTA.

She is now a regular presenter and writer for BBC Radio 4. She is also a Visiting Professor of Journalism[1] at City University, London. She remained a Specialist Correspondent for ITN's ITV News at Ten, for whom she has continued to cover major stories as a freelance contributor, until January 2012, when Penny was appointed Social Affairs Editor.[2]

Omarska[edit]

In the summer of 1992 Marshall, together with Channel 4 News' Ian Williams, were the first television journalists to uncover the Serb-run detention camps in Bosnia. Ed Vulliamy of The Guardian was also with the ITN teams. Their subsequent reports and pictures, shown throughout the world, generated an international outcry. The TV report won the International News Award for 1992 at the Royal Television Society TV Journalism Awards.

Penny Marshall has received Gold and Silver Medals at the Annual Film & Television Festival of New York, and joint top prize - with Ian Williams - in the News and Actuality category from BAFTA. They also received a special award from Broadcast magazine. In addition they jointly won an Emmy, one of America's top television awards, for Outstanding Investigative Journalism at that year's News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

Fraud accusations[edit]

LM Magazine (formerly known as Living Marxism), in an article by Thomas Deichmann, claimed that the video tapes, which have brought international recognition to Marshall and Williams, were fraudulent.[3] The article specifically said: "There was no barbed wire fence surrounding Trnopolje camp. It was not a prison, and certainly not a 'concentration camp', but a collection centre for refugees, many of whom went there seeking safety and could leave again if they wished. The barbed wire in the picture is not around the Bosnian Muslims; it is around the cameraman and the journalists."

In March 2000, Marshall and Ian Williams were each awarded £150,000, and ITN won £75,000, from LM Magazine in a High Court libel case against the magazine.[4] An examination of the case by a professor of cultural and political geography at Durham University argues that the key claims made by Deichmann and LM were "erroneous and flawed".[5]

In April 2012, journalist John Simpson apologised in The Observer for supporting Living Marxism magazine and questioning ITN's reporting of the camps.[6] This was followed by a second apology from journalist and media commentator Roy Greenslade in September 2013. He wrote in his blog for The Guardian, "Here comes the bit that still gives me a red face. I agreed to give evidence for the magazine...I hereby apologise to ITN's reporters and Vulliamy for having offered to help Living Marxism".[7]

The court established that the prisoners were enclosed by a variety of fences. The reporters were accompanied by armed Serb guards who "objected to them talking to the prisoners". It was also established that the prisoners were frightened of speaking to the reporters and that after the ITN team left, more than 250 were taken from the camp and killed.[citation needed]

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