08/06/2012 Newswatch


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Now on BBC News it is time for Welcome to NewsWatch. Later in the


programme, a right royal row over the Royal Pageant. First two of the


Jubilee matters and there were plenty of those to choose from over


the long weekend. The festivities, though, were not confined to the


many special programmes or to BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three or be busy


for. Most of the live events were also shown on the BBC News channel.


The Queen's visit to the races, the pageant, the concert and the


Thanksgiving Service. As for the news bulletins on BBC One, they had


a distinctly royal tinge, too. Thousands packed St Paul's


Cathedral for a special service to mock the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.


The other headlines and BBC News... So was BBC News right to join in


the Jubilee party audit its output over the weekend lack proportion


and objectivity? Unfortunately, BBC News refused our invitation to come


on the programme an answer that question but they did give us his


I am joined now by two NewsWatch views -- viewers, in our Norwich


studio and here. Chris, what did you make of the BBC news coverage?


Did they mix up the Royal Jubilee with the news? It was really hard


to define between the news cuts -- news programmes covering the


Jubilee as a historic event and the actual coverage of the Jubilee. It


seemed like the news programmes were a continuation of the coverage.


There were not -- it was like a rally for the royal family without


a lot of other voices coming through. Was it wrong to broadcast


the festivities on the News Channel at the 10th -- at the same time as


the same pictures were on BBC One? Absolute Lee. There are showing


exactly the same thing. It was the real loss of it being a news item.


It felt like a pageant programme. A rock, do you agree? I agree. In


effect, we lost the News Channel for four days. It was simply


duplicating things which were being shown elsewhere. It was filming a


spectacle rather than providing news. I think that the News Channel


is there, actually, to provide news. One of the things about news is


that it does not actually have to be new but there was not -- it does


have to be new but there was nothing new about the Jubilee. We


all knew it was going to happen. Given the range of channels that


the BBC has, it should have kept the News Channel functioning as a


normal, reporting on Jubilee events, but reporting news and not


duplicating things which were available elsewhere. The rating


figures do suggest a lot of people were interested. It was probably


the biggest thing happening in the UK the that weekend. I would also


be interested to know what else was happening in the world and what


else was happening in this country. I cannot see the rationale that the


BBC News Channel stops being a News Channel when Motty de Shereen is


available on BBC One. Chris, what about the overall tone of the


coverage? Did the BBC get back right in news terms? There was much


made of how many millions of people were out on the streets but we did


not hear anything about, say, the largest ever Republican protest


that happened in this country. be fair, the BBC News channel did


covers some of those protests. mentioned it from time to time but


they did not reflect, perhaps, the ambivalence people had towards the


event. We saw a rallying cry behind the monarchy but that did not


necessarily reflect the views of the nation.


Thank you. Putting aside the question of whether or not it


constitutes news, but what of the BBC's coverage of the major events


of the weekend? Apart from the fireworks being cut off early on


Monday night, most of it seems to have done pretty well. That could


not be said, though of the reject - - river pageant. The broker shown


on BBC One and the News Channel on Sunday afternoon has faced an


onslaught of criticism this week from editorials in the national


newspapers lambasting it, celebrities treating their


discussed, anonymous BBC insiders a green and 2,500 this -- viewers


boys in their objections. Among hundreds of Commons were those from


What were they complaining about? Well, the sort of thing. I have got


my belt, my Union Jack underwear. Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth


II. We have had some additions to our Jubilee baby board. Santiago is


over here. And the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing... May item


three Dame Test -- I nightie for services working in the rain.


until the last ice age, Europe was one dined landmass and the water


from the Thames flowed into the river Rhine. In the BBC's defence,


the director general, Mark Thompson, pronounced himself very proud of


the weekend's programming, pointing to a substantial audience on Sunday


afternoon of over 10 million and the audience appreciation breaking


up 82 %. After criticism of the corporation's remit of the Royal


Wedding last year, with some accounts calling it to dry and


formal, La to tone -- lighter tone was adopted for the Jubilee. Was


that the right strategy? The BBC were again unable to join us to


discuss this that I am joined by its two more viewers. Diane, what


did you make of the padding coverage? Absolutely appalling.


the pageant coverage. Fortunately we had sky and we were able to


watch a more serious production with serious commentators. I was


appalled by the celebrity culture on the BBC. Where were Andrew Marr


and Peter Snow, people who reported news, not celebrity? A lot of the


news events were missed by the BBC. What about the view that perhaps


they were trying to make it a little lighter, a little bit more


inclusive? Was that an error in judgment? I think it was an


appalling misjudgment because the actual or parchment was the fun. It


was not up to the commentators to make it fun or light-hearted. It


did not need to be treated like a funeral but I think the thing that


angered me most of all is the arrogance and complacency of the


BBC. They say 60% of the people watched it. Everyone I spoke to


said it was appalling and when asked, did you watch it aunt Sky,


they said, no, we do not have sky. So the 60% figure is a farce.


you agree? Generally I agree. I am less worried about the celebrity


issue. For me there were two things. First, technically, and I know it


was a challenging technical event but it is cleverly possible to have


normal broadcasting in those conditions so I think the weather


as an excuse... For the British Broadcasting Corporation not to be


prepared for British weather was one thing but on top of that,


whether they are celebrities or not is not the issue. The issue is


research. There was clearly no research done at all. I am actually


in principle a Republican. You would expect me not to want to


enjoy this event but it would be churlish to think that this was not


an event that could bring the country together and have some


great community spirit. I wanted to learn something. I learnt nothing.


The most ridiculous farcical thing was what they called horrible


histories. That was just laughable. It was puerile. It is a bit like


watching the World Cup final with England in it in the football World


Cup final and having the BBC used a gave -- use a game of so BDO do


explain what was going on. boats were going up and down the


River Thames for four hours. That could be a bit tedious. Could it


have been done a bit better? We got a tedious, exactly right, because


nobody was talking about the background, the context. There were


boats their involved in Dunkirk. I was watching it with my elderly


parents. I will not embarrass them by saying how old they are but


there were few beers. They will not -- for they wanted to know about


the history, and similarly my nephews. -- they were furious. So


1000 boats going down the river could be dull but the colour behind


them would be fascinating. They did not even know who was steering the


royal barge. Lessons for the BBC next time? Obviously not the next


Diamond Jubilee but the next important occasion? It is not the


celebrities themselves but the fact they did not have any historical


knowledge or interest and were not primed. And I would also love to


see an apology from the BBC to say, yes, in B are the audience


complaining, perhaps we will look into it. -- In view of the audience


complaining. Thank you. Let's end animal constructive note. He it is


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