Discussion | Did CNN stage a protest?

Screen-shot taken from @markantros video

Did CNN stage a protest?

By Matt Mrozinski


There is a very interesting video floating around the web shot by a self-proclaimed “libertarian.”  It was passed onto conservative talk show hosts where it caught traction through some spin.

The video claims that CNN reporter Becky Anderson “staged” a live shot by asking a group of London protesters to stand in the background.  The accusations go as far as claiming, “They even brought peace group printed out paper and props.”

CNN’s public relations department later debunked the allegations, calling it “nonsense.”  Certainly, the alleged planning of it appears to be.  Here is the rundown:



CNN’s Becky Anderson is reporting in London after recent terrorist attacks when a group of Muslim protesters start to move in behind her.



It appears as if Anderson is conducting them to stand in the shot.  Actually, at least early in the video, Anderson seems to be pushing them out of the shot along with her cameraman.  Eventually, she submits and let’s them stand in the picture.

Other crews on scene try to push the protesters away, appearing to move them from their own picture.

Anderson’s live report begins.  This where things start to get discussion worthy.  Anderson seems to go with it, however, in the video she never says how recent they got there or why they are there.  According to CNN PR, the protesters were provoked to stand there by police and not by Anderson.  That claim was not communicated  by Anderson in the 2 minute and 11 second video.

The video ends before the report, perhaps we are missing a piece of evidence.  So far, none of the major media outlets want to touch this.  Mashable wrote a piece saying don’t believe the reports that it was staged.

While it is extremely unlikely CNN planned a staged event, we think this “photo-op” warrants a discussion on ethics.  How can we improve on this?  We’d love to know what more could have been done to prevent the perception of staging?  Where did this go wrong, if at all?