02/12/2011 Newswatch


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liver problems. Welcome to Newswatch. The biggest


strike in a generation, or a damp squib? Industrial action by a


public sector workers has caused a number of different views. I'll be


asking whether the BBC coverage was even-handed. Rubbish piling up on


the streets, the dead lying on buried, at the 1970s worry time


where industrial action featured nightly on the news. Arguments


raged over where the disruption There are objections to this


interview last Sunday. What are you moaning about? The figures seem


very Claire, we can go through the figures cards we? Are your pensions


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 58 seconds


Come Wednesday, the complaints kept Some dealers objected to graphics


showing people shaking their fists. It was described as frightening and


than necessary. It was also contrasted against the BBC strike


earlier this year. It was OK by the BBC to go on strike, but it is not


OK for nurses, and binmen. I'm sick of the journalists are sticking up


for the Conservatives rather than or the working man. That is the way


that it feels. Can you not try and be independent? It doesn't sound


like a for where I am sad. Whether or not we are up -- we are


gearing up for Ray "winter of discontent", there is at a deep


feeling about the strikes. The BBC is trying to make sure their


coverage is as fair as possible. The was on both sides of the fence


see bias. How do you ensure fairness in your coverage? This is


a very big story. Strength of feeling is very strong on all sides.


Our job is to report, to report as objectively as we can, to establish


the facts, to find out what is going on. It with something that is


very contentious, to make sure we ate a very wide range of views. We


make sure we speak to people from every side of the story. We try and


challenge unions and ministers. We are trying to hear from people


affected, those not affected. of viewers thought that union


leaders were put under pressure much more ferociously that the


government are to justify the changes to public sector pensions.


A I would not agree with that. We do indeed challenge union leaders,


what are they looking for, their roles in negotiations, what they


once compared to pensions in the private sector. Just as strongly to


we challenge ministers, the many ministers we have had on the air


waves of the last bidets, to explain their proposals, and why


are they fair, are they negotiating. We challenge all sides of the story.


Wednesday was an important day for the government. The BBBC come under


pressure from that quarter? constantly know that all sides in


these big stories have a sense of what they would like us to say. We


make up our own mind about what we are going to do. Where there were


specific complaints from Downing Street? We are in touch with all


sides. The key job brass is that we carry on doing the job we are meant


to do. Another issue raised was that he spent too much time looking


at the disparity between public sector and private sector pensions,


and not the inequality in earnings between some of the poorest workers


and some of the richest. These are both a very big issues. I'm


interested about the e-mail that you had saying this is not a strike


about pensions, there are many more issues. We did report that the


strength of feeling was felt by many issues. Primarily the strike


was focused on pensions according to unions. We wanted to explain the


pensions issue, the captives, private and public, that is a lot


of the part of the argument. There were other issues that we have


looked out, we have challenged issues about pay, fairness,


equality for the country as a whole. Was it difficult for journalists


covering the strike to cover it properly, when not so long ago they


were striking over their pensions? I can assure you that in the


newsroom, the editors were focused on the task in hand. That was


reporting the issues objectively, and all of the debate. Thank you


very much indeed. The strike was a topic under


discussion on Wednesday, with the provocative presenter Jeremy


Clarkson. Keeping the strikes are a good idea? Fantastic. London was


empty. You can whizz about. It is like being back in the 1970s. We


have to balance it. This is the BBC. Frankly I would have them all shot!


1002 saw the programme, rang to complain. -- thousands who. Last


week saw the death of the former Wales prop Paul and Gary Speed --


footballer. It also saw the death Well, we put those objections to


BBC News, and were given that this BBC News, and were given that this


Finally, back to the strike, or at least the build up to it. This


included a live link to Heathrow Airport, which elicited a familiar


Airport, which elicited a familiar Thanks for your comments. If you


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