21/10/2011 Newswatch


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week, as coverage of the Joanna Yeates murder trial been intrusive


Welcome to Newswatch. Complaints this week from you might say each


end of the spectrum. We look at stories viewers think received two-


match a detailed attention and some other stories which viewers felt


were not covered by BBC News nearly enough.


Still making headlines this week, the trial of Vincent Tabak who


admits the manslaughter of Joanna Yeates in December last year. He


denies her murder. Here is part of the report on the trial.


10 months after he killed Jo Yeates, Vincent Tabak came to offer his


story. Her boyfriend joined her parents and her brother in a packed


court room. On last week's programme we had


some beers objection to the BBC showing footage of the inside of


the victim's flat. This week, further complaints. Elizabeth


Smears wrote that she finds the headline news and some of the


As the BBC's reporting of the trial been disproportionate and


intrusive? I am joined by one of the BBC's most senior journalists,


James Stevenson, editor of both the 6pm and 10pm news and the Johanna


Paxton, eight BBC the US. What did you not like about the


trial coverage? We are only reporting what was said in open


court? I think they are a few points I want to make about the


coverage. The first was why this particular case was receiving so


much attention? The other. Us warily to do with the content and


the use of what I thought were bolder headlines -- vulgar


headlines. I fail to see how it is informed reporting. I also want to


know why the BBC was resorting to this kind of sensational and


gratuitous reporting? It is what one might normally find in a


tabloid newspaper. You us to bring to gratuitous tabloid reporting.


do not think we are. We recognise it is a difficult and unusual case.


Today the first of your points, Joanna, a white as this case got


coverage where others haven't is a good one. It is one we have been


asking ourselves. The nature of her story and that she was leading an


ordinary life and that it happened to her, it has connected beyond the


way some other cases do. I would like to come on to the point you


make about the style of the reporting because I do not think we


have stooped to lower standards of reporting than we have done


elsewhere and certainly for the 6pm and 10pm news, we have used


experienced correspondents, based in Bristol. We have tried to


balance the enormity of the public interest with sensitivity about the


case. Hard as it is to believe, there were more grisly details that


the court has heard... That is in open court so publicly stated...


Can I ask whether it when covering a trial like this do you make any


distinction between what you report at 6pm when children might be


watching and what you put in the 10pm news? We think about it. The


6pm news has a peculiar status because it is before the watershed


but it is also an adult news programme. If you look in the BBC


guidelines, you will see that there is some accommodation made for the


fact that it is an unusual programme dealing with adult


content before the watershed. That still means quite fine judgements


about what we think is acceptable to a teatime audience as opposed to


a later audience. What do you make of what you have heard? I can hear


his. So clearly. It reminded me of the comment made by a family who


said that their own daughter had been forgotten in the hype that


surrounded the case. I wonder whether that is happening here in


the media hype around the trial of Vincent Tabak. I certainly hope not.


It is a point worth making. Hardly taking trouble and are we clear to


preserve her humanity -- are we taking trouble? As the trial goes


on, we will certainly bear that in mind. Johanna Paxton, thank you for


joining us from Bristol. James Stevenson, thank you.


Reports into the tragic death of British IndyCar private Dan Wheldon


appeared on many BBC outlets at the start of the week. Be they did


three-year-old was described by Lewis Hamilton as talented and


inspirational. He was killed on Sunday at a race in Las Vegas. This


package by Alastair Leithead was showed the next day.


Dan Wheldon was racing for a $5 million prize, starting at the back,


he had to overtake every other IndyCar in the race. He was fast


moving up the field when this happened. The report went on to


show Dan Wheldon's car hitting a wall and bursting into flames


before it was aired, viewers were warned that it contained


distressing images. However they you have got in touch to make this


From complaints of too much coverage, to too little. Thailand


is suffering its worst floods in half-a-century. Volunteers and


soldiers are desperately working to strengthen flood defences to stop


water reaching parts of the capital Bangkok. At least till hundred and


70 people have died in the devastation since July. Since do


floodwaters -- facts do floodwaters, tens of thousands of people have


been forced from their homes. Kevin Jennings wrote to us in disbelief


that the disaster was not receiving Protesters have been gathered near


Wall Street for more than a month and in the last week they have


assembled in the UK and countries across the globe. It all started on


17th September with a small group of activists gathering close to New


York's financial heartland, Wall Street. It has swelled to several


thousand people at times with dozens of arrests being made. The


campaign, broadly known as Occupy Wall Street, has attracted people


from thousands of miles away, many holding signs like, tax the rich,


and against corporate greed. On Saturday, demonstrators inspired by


them set up camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in London. After an


earlier attempt to occupy a Square outside the London Stock Exchange


was halted by police, they went to St Paul's. Many wrote to complain


that the BBC was slow off the mark to report the progress. Even when


coverage of the global protest picked up, it was too little too


Another dealer, Rachel Cadman, based another concern. By covering


August riots more commonly than the peaceful protest, could the BBC be


fuelling protesters did go to extreme lengths to get noticed?


we cannot get it together so that we encourage people to protest


peacefully, it it makes a protesters say, if you want to get


your voice at, you have to go to an illegal extreme that is anti-social


and horrible. So smaller demonstrations have also taken


place across the UK and other cities including in Bristol,


Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is these protest that Robin


What is BBC News's answer to complaints of a lack of coverage?


According to a statement we were given, the Occupy Wall Street


demonstrations have been covered across BBC TV, radio and online


news during the past month. Last Sunday when protest took place in


London, New York and elsewhere, the story featured in all of the main


news bulletins on BBC One as well as Radio 4's evening bulletin.


There have also been numerous online articles about the campaign


and Occupy Bristol has been covered by BBC Radio Bristol and BBC One's


points west. Across our coverage, the background to the coverage has


been explained and the reporting has deflected the language used by


protesters to describe their aims and motives. Last week, we kicked


off an occasional slot in which it in the wake of BBC cost-cutting


proposals, viewers can point out examples of what they see as money


being wasted. Pat Hardy wrote in to highlight what she things are and


necessary travel costs from sending weather presenters to different


Or do you like to see the BBC weather presenters out and about?


Does it enhance the report when the presenter is in a scenic location?


If you have strong views, do get in touch to let us note. Finally,


Robert Cheer got in touch to ask, why do you insist on broadcasting


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