Good news fly, but the bad ones do even more, especially if they spread on social media. A BBC reporter learned it the hard way. Everything began with a series of tweets on the journalist Ahmen Khawaja’s account that referred first to the recovery and then to the death of Queen Elizabeth, but everything was false. After removing the posts, the BBC correspondent apologized explaining that she had been the victim of a “silly prank” after she left her phone unattended for a few minutes. “During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying a member of the royal family had been taken ill” – it was announced by the corporation to apologise, but making a new gaffe in the opinion of some commentators – “The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologise for any offence.”
Readily Buckingham Palace delivered a statement to reassure the British people on the health of the Queen, explaining that she had gone to the hospital only to attended her annual medical check-up. According to the Daily Telegraph, the BBC journalist will face disciplinary action after this incident, although it is unclear what exactly happened. In fact, the “culprit” claims to have left her phone unattended at home, while the BBC talks about a technical rehearsal for an obituary, but Khawaja was not taking part in the exercise.
It is not the first time that the BBC announces the death of the Queen. In fact, in 2010 the deejay Danny Kelly said into the microphones of the BBC West Midlands: “I have an important announcement to make: Queen Elizabeth II has died”. It was meant to be a joke, but the leaders of the corporation did not like it, and immediately took the distance itself from the fact, providing an official apology.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo