03/12/2011 Newswatch


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Will continue his watch. Debate is striking a generation or a dance


great? And in his diverge sharply on Wednesdays to industrial action.


-- opinions diverged sharply. In a moment, I'll be asking if the


coverage was balanced and even- handed. Rubbish piling on the


street, the dead lying underlit, power cuts and a three-day week.


The nine Dean 70s were a time when the industrial disputes featured


nightly on the TV's. -- 1970s. A arguments were raging again, even


before this week's action. The majority of opinion was summed up


Another in the US objected to this interview. -- viewer. A pensions


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 56 seconds


Come Wednesday, the complaints kept Some viewers objected to graphics


depicting faceless people waving and shaking their fists, which were


described as frightening and unnecessary. Another contrast to


the strike. But it was OK for BBC journalists to go on strike about


their pensions, but it is not OK for public workers. I am sick of


the hypocritical journalists. They are sticking up for the big people,


not the small people. They say they are trying to be independent. It


does not sound like it. everybody had their perspective.


Whether are not we are in for another winter of discontent, views


on today's industrial disputes are deeply entrenched. BBC News cannot


hope to satisfy everyone, but how can it make sure its coverage is


fair and as objective as possible? I am now trained by the head of the


BBC's newsroom, Mary Hockaday. Viewers on both sides of the fence


seemed to see buyers. How do you ensure even-handedness in such a


big story? This is a very big story. To use a phrase used in one of the


in house, it is a strength of feeling. Our job with a story like


this is to report as objectively as we possibly can to establish the


facts, find out what is going on, but also with something like this,


very contentious and political sensitive, that we have a really


wide range of views. We need to speak to people from all sides of


the story, challenge ministers, challenge union neighbours, but


also when we are out and about, toured the people striking, not


striking, affected, not affected. He would have to say and challenge


what they have to say. Some dealers thought the union leaders were put


under pressure to justify their position, much more ferociously


than the Government to justified the changes in public sector


pensions. I would not agree with that. We do indeed challenge union


leaders about their position. We want to find out what they want


compared to pensions in the private sector. But just as strongly, we


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


airwaves over the last few days to explain their proposals and why are


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


Wednesday was an important day for the Government. Did the BBC come


under pressure from that quarter? We constantly know that all sides


in these big, contentious stories have a sense of what they would


like us to be saying. Believe me, do not worry, we make up their own


minds about what we are going to do. Whether a specific complaints from


Downing Street that the BBC coverage was biased? We are in


touch with all those involved on the story. The key job for us is to


make sure we carry on and do the job that we need to do. Another


issue raised was that it had spent too much time looking at the


disparaging -- disparity between public sector and private sector it


pensions and not the inner quality of earnings between some of the


poorest workers in the country and some of the richest. These are both


pretty beat issues. I am interested in one of the e-mails. It said it


was not a striker that pensions, it was about more issues. We all know


and reported that the strength of feeling was done by many issues.


Primarily, the strike, in the words of union leaders, was focused


around pensions. On the day of the strike, one of the tasks that we


set out to achieve, was to explain the pension system. And many other


occasions, many other days, the other sorts of issues that we have


been locking out and challenging are indeed these ones about pay,


around Venice and around the quality for the country as a whole.


Was it difficult for a journalist covering Wednesday strikes over


pensions to cover them probably, were not so long ago, they were


striking over their pensions? assure you that in the newsroom,


the editors and all the teams were focused on the task at hand, which


was to report objectively and it about what was happening. Mary


Hockaday, think you very much indeed. The strike was one of the


topics under discussion in an interview on Wednesday's one show,


with Jeremy Clarkson. In the strikes had been a good idea?


Fantastic. London today has just been empty. Restaurants are ready.


It is also like being in the 70s. We have to balance it though,


because this is the BBC. Frankly, I would have them all shot. Thousands


of viewers who saw the show bring Last and eight sought the extensive


coverage of the former football player, Gary Speed. -- Sunday. It


also saw much briefer coverage of a British soldier killed in


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 56 seconds


We put those objections to BBC News Finally, back to the strike. Or at


least to be built up to it last weekend. This is a live link from


Heathrow Airport, which elicited a familiar complaint to in his watch.


Thank you for your comments this week. If you want to shake your


opinion on BBC News and Current Affairs, you can call last or e-


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