16/03/2012 Newswatch


16/03/2012

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That is the news. Now it is time for Newswatch. This week, how

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effective is the BBC's complaints Welcome to Newswatch. Later,

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complaints about the BBC's complaints process. It was goodbye

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from her. As Breakfast prefers -- prepares to move to Salford some

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viewers will be leaving the programme as well. Have you heard

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this braise special relationship this week? The Prime Minister

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visited Barack Obama and viewers were treated to views of his

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arrival, hot dogs, a gun salute, Banquet, and some politics. Shaun

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Wednesday saw a distressing reports about the coach crash in

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Switzerland which killed 20 people, most of them children. Fire crews

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had to cut through the mangled remains of the bus. There were no

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other vehicles involved. Helicopters and ambulances were

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used to take those he survived to fall nearby hospitals. -- those who

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survive to to Fort Austin nearby hospitals. At schools in Belgium

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the agony of not knowing who had survived, and waiting for the worst

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Foyers and was also on the might of Parts of the BBC are in the process

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of moving to their new base in Salford. A couple of weeks ago it

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was the turn of the sports news department to migrate, which means

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the news channel sports presenter is no longer in the same studio as

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the main news presenter. Time for sport now. A full round up

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from the sports centre. Thank you. We will start with football and it

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was a remarkable night. The change is not to the liking of

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David like that. -- David like that. What do you do if you object to

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something you have seen on the programme? Contact us and Newswatch.

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But what if you want to take things further? There will be a three-

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stage process. You can complain directly online or by post. If you

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are not satisfied with the response from the programme-makers you can

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go to the editorial complaints unit which will investigate

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independently of producers. If you are still not happy you can appeal

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to the BBC Trust. Changes are being suggested to the system. In a

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moment I will be asking what is behind the proposals, but before

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that, what is wrong with the way things are now? Frankly, I would

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have them all shot. Some complaints hit the headlines, many don't.

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30,000 people objected to Jeremy Clarkson's opinion about public

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sector workers being shot. And 55,002 Jonathan Ross and Russell

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Brand's prank phone message. The BBC handles a quarter of a million

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The House of Lords Committee report last year agreed, finding the whole

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process was convoluted and overly complicated. Investigating

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complaints can take a lot of money and time to the frustration of

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programme-makers as well as members of the public. These people are

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effectively in control of their town. It to two years before the

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BBC Trust found an article broadcast by Jeremy Bowen had

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breached impartiality guidelines. One of Lord Patten's Thurston us

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was when he took over as chairman was the complaints procedure can I

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should be improved -- first announcements. I'm joined by the

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member of the BBC Trust responsible for the complaints process, Richard

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Eyre. A lot of people find the process complicated, convoluted. I

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even heard the word Byzantine used. What will you do to improve it?

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For we are consulting on a range of measures. We will shorten the

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length of time we hope it takes if you choose to go through the whole

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system, from your first complaint up to an appeal to the trust, it

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should be quicker. We will prioritise the handling of

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complaints that raised serious editorial issues, things like

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impartiality, accuracy. We will prioritise those at the expense of

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the small but significant number of complaints that did Brady raise

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significant issues at all. -- but do not really a race.

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The person who complained that the passionate about them and you might

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enrage more viewers. Nearly everybody who makes a

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complaint to the BBC believes in it and often they are passionate about

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it. It doesn't follow they are always right. We guarantee every

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complaint will be read, every complaint will receive an answer.

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Those that really did raise issues of substance should not have

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licence-fee payers money spent on them -- those that really do not

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raise issues. One big issues like bias or

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impartiality, one thinks of the Middle East, hundreds if not

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thousands are convinced the BBC is pro Israel, and in equal number

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think the opposite. How to adjudicate on matters as

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complicated as that. It is extremely difficult, almost

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impossible for the BBC to do a news report on the Middle East without

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getting complaints alleging we are partial on one side or the other,

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sometimes on both. Each of those complaints, however often we

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receive them, even when they come over and over again from the same

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people, have to be taken seriously and sometimes that takes a long

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time. I know one of the consent of critics is some complaints take

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months or even years before they are resolved. Ahead of the lot of

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work goes into it. As for legal advice, the BBC does take legal

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advice when it feels it needs to. It is in the interest of licence-

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fee payers the courts do not end up determining what content should or

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should not be on BBC programmes. You spend most of your working life

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on BBC News. Is there a danger having spent so much of life in

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that culture you may not be the ideal person to handle independent

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editorial complaint? I am sure I am not ideal but there

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are 12 members of the BBC Trust, only three of us have previous

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broadcasting experience, all three of those have experience in the

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outside world after he stopped working for the BBC. -- After we

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stop. What I have had my other colleagues have and the other nine

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members of the trust share is a passion for the BBC's editorial

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independence, a passion for the BBC setting the highest editorial

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standards in the broadcast world, and the determination to hold the

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BBC programme-makers to account, when and if they let audiences down

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by a beach near standards, that is what trust is there to do. --

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breached standards. He firmly for the perception of

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things, wouldn't it be better for the appeal process to be handled by

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an external body? -- if only. Those things are granted through

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royal charter, the BBC Trust has the legal responsibility for

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oversight of the complaints process. Audiences can complain also to

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Ofcom, or to them as an alternative if they wish, except on some key

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areas where Ofcom has no involvement, the BBC's impartiality,

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accuracy and fairness. Finally, tears were being shed on

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the breakfast -- Breakfast sofa on Thursday when Sian Williams

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presented with a gravel the last time in advance of its move to

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Salford. It will be broadcast from next month, but without her. Such a

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wonderful audience, thank you very much. I will miss you usually.

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we will miss you. It has been a joy and pleasure. Good luck. The tears

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were not just in the studio. Claire Winchester was just one of many

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For other viewers there tributes were a come in by a sting in the

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We hope to discuss that move north in the coming weeks. Let us know

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