17/02/2012 Newswatch


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On BBC News, it is time for news Welcome to the programme. Later, do


BBC journalists need to rethink their use of Twitter? First, much


of last Sunday's television news was dominated by this.


Tributes have been paid to the singer, Whitney Houston, who died


in Los Angeles. There followed a familiar complaint


Oh, yes, football. Those of you who objected on last week's programme


to that particular sport featuring so strongly in the news had little


respite this week. If quite an afternoon here. Lyris so warriors


and Patrice Evra face to face once more. Would they shake hands?


taken three-and-a-half months but Carlos Tevez has finally returned.


A sporting institution now in administration. For Rangers


Football Club, this moment was a long time coming but it was still


painful. You may remember that last year we


featured an edition of Panorama which used secret filming to reduce


-- show patients being physically and verbally abused. Some viewers


at the time were concerned the journalist involved should have


intervened earlier rather than recording the abuse taking place.


The charge was rejected on this programme by Panorama's editor.


Well, it is worth mentioning that last week, three staff from the


place pleaded guilty to the ill- treatment of residence. There will


be sentenced later. Credit is due to the Panorama team


for their role in bringing those three to justice. According to Mary,


The trust told us that while they continually monitor services as


well as the rolling programme of reviews, they are strategic body


for the BBC and it is not their role to pick up on issues such as


this on an Hardtalk basis. A spokesperson added that there is a


complex process which viewers can use of which the trust is a part.


Won a long-running complaint made to the BBC concerns an internal


report written in 2004, assessing its coverage of the Middle East. As


the City called Stephen should have fought the report -- thought the


report should be made public, submitting a Freedom of Information


request which was refused by the BBC. This week, the Supreme Court


agreed there was no requirement to The social media website Twitter


has won over 100 million active users worldwide and counting.


Increasingly, those 140 characters are being employed not just for


teenage gossip but by a major media organisations for breaking news.


The BBC has saved -- has embraced this technology enthusiastically


but last week felt the issue to issue new guidance to its


journalists on their use of Twitter. Premier League players took to


The first inkling of the death of a summer Bin Laden was conveyed on to


the social networking site as was the announcement of William and


Kate's engagement. And of course, it along with Facebook played a


major role in that the so-called Arab Spring. Up until now, when


journalists such as Robert Karlsson have something to reveal, there


Twitter followers have sometimes been the the first to know. Is this


a sign that BBC News has been going overboard in the use of this new


outlet? Those who thinks they might point to a survey that BBC


journalists have posted 100,000 tweets in the last three months of


last year. Some of you feel Not everybody has Twitter, internet


and whatever. We have straightforward telephone and that


is it. I know we are getting smaller and smaller, but I think


there is a proportion of us still around. Be different objection is


There is also the fear that the potential Twitter encourages a


tendency to focus exclusively on breaking news, to the detriment of


So does the BBC's use of Twitter require more radical rethinking?


Should it be thought of as a platform for its journalism or as a


competitor? Chris Sampson is social media editor for BBC News and joins


me now. What is changing as a result of for new diktat? I would


say it is not a new diktat. In fact it is a clarification of our


existing guidance about the way our journalists should handle a line of


breaking news when they get it. What we were trying to do with that


was explain we wanted for breaking used to be delivered him to our


newsroom systems if possible at the same time as people are sending it


out via their own to accounts. that practical? It is. We have a


piece of technology which allows us to offer that service to our


journalists say they can do that. We do say when it is not possible


for whatever reason, that the news room should come first. 100,000


tweets in three months. I'm slightly surprised be assiduous


have that much time. Have they gone overboard? It is not all wonderful


breaking his. My understanding of that survey is in fact it included


some of our big branded accounts, with over 4 million followers. At


that time, they were treating a lot of headlines generated


automatically, News website sweat and a large proportion of those in


year 100,000 tweets will have been from those accounts, rather than


individuals. In any case, the role of Twitter and social media in


general is so important now and an important part of our Toolkit, but


I don't have a big problem with our journalists engaging heavily in


using the system. You are on Twitter, I wanted to, but the


majority of licence payers are not. You heard a few their from someone


who is not on Twitter and he feels that maybe the BBC should be


getting on with its more orthodox journalism on radio and television.


One of the main things to say on that issue is that a lot of the


activity that our journalists take part in on Twitter is although


feeding into our mainstream right for to -- is also feeding into our


mainstream I'd put. Our journalists to go to court cases or the Leveson


Inquiry for example, find that at the end of the day's reporting from


inside the courtroom, the tweets they've sent out are a useful


framework for them for their Scripts and their 6:00pm bulletin


on Radio 4, the 10 o'clock News. It feeds back into the reporting they


are doing on our mainstream output. At the end of the day, is Twitter


an outlet for the BBC or a commercial competitor? We think


Twitter and social media in general has three main uses for us. It's a


platform for our content and we can reach audiences who might not be


reached by BBC News any other way. News-gathering is also an offence


shall part of why we use Twitter. - - an essential part. The third key


role for us is around talking to the audience, engaging with our


audience. We have direct conversations with our audience


about what they think about our journalism.


It before we go, some of you have noticed that the after new


presenters on the news channel, John's Opel and Emily Maitlis, have


been developing a rather jerky on- screen relationship. I thought you


are being cynical? The? Never! Sceptical, big difference. Plessey.


Thank you very much. I love it when you ask a big theoretical question,


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