05/10/2012 Newswatch


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Welcome to a new series of Newswatch. This week allegations


are made on an ITV documentary of sexual abuse by the late Sir Jimmy


Savile, but why didn't the BBC air its own investigation into the


subject a year ago? And has the corporation been keeping a bit too


quiet about claims it must find deeply uncomfortable? Also on the


programme, how do reporters sent to cover lengthy live events fill the


air time, with I nain questioning according to some viewers. And how


come an offensive swear word came to be broadcast on Breakfast.


(BLEEP) First, back in the 1970s Sir Jimmy Savile was one of the


best known television personalities in Britain and this week, his


reputation is in taters, after a stream of allegations that he


sexually abused teenage girls. The BBC's reputation is also under


question, partly because some of the offences are said to have taken


place on its premises and partly because of the charge that it's


been slow to report on the accusations. The BBC has said :


It's horrified by allegation that's anything of this sort could have


happened at the BBC and added that it's working closely with the


relevant authorities." This week's headline sprang from a documentary


shown on ITV in which five women said they were sex lay salted by


Savile as teenagers. It's emerged that Newsnight was pursuing its own


investigation last year into the case against the presenter, but


that report was dropped. Some news watch viewers detected a lack of


enthusiasm on the part of the BBC enthusiasm on the part of the BBC


In a moment I'll speak to the BBC's director of editorial policy and


standards. First let's hear from another viewer who contacted us.


Can you sum up your concern. Did you feel the BBC was covering the


story as fully as they should?, I felt when it hit the news on ITV


on News At Ten it was the main headlines. At the time the BBC had


no news about it at all, which I thought very odd, which also made


it very uncomfortable. Immediately, one thought there was some form of


cover up because it wasn't, it was a big thing, though it wasn't


presented as a big thing, hence me writing to the BBC and saying


exactly that, that I thought that maybe there's some form of cover up


because it was not broadcast. is your feeling about the fact that


there was a Newsnight investigation being done a year ago thand it got


dropped? I found that -- find that very odd and strange. I I that --


think that the BBC should have been the first to react to anything like


that to make their name clear, put themselves in the forefront of the


investigations, whatever they're going to do. You felt that because


this was a BBC presenter the allegations were about the BBC's


role was to have been at the forefront rather than reacting.


Indeed, yes. What do you think of the BBC now given the coverage that


you've seen? I think they're moving forward. I think they're actually


woken up to the fact that this is quite a serious matter and all the


people have come forward so far, to date, have something to say and if


there are allegations, the BBC must delve into that and go back and


find out what they knew and to bring these things to prove or


disprove. Thank you. We have David Jordan here, representing the BBC's


perspective. You have done a lot of interviews on this issue. The


question remains the BBC's attitude to the story looks suspicious, you


haven't really answered that? deal with what Terry said that we


were slow to pick the story up. The ITV news at 10.30pm led with the


story. They don't tell us they're going to do that. It's impossible


to reflect that in earlier news bulletins. To be fair, it's the


sense that the BBC was slower than newspaper s and other outlets to


cover this story. I think you'll find that the story's featured in


all of our television and news bulletins since then and I know it


has and it's been near the top of the agenda. It's been a big story


for ITV. Newsnight was investigating Sir Jimmy Savile a


year ago. The decision to drop that investigation looks very odd.


I've explained elsewhere and the editor of Newsnight has explained,


what they were looking at was in particular the way in which the


Surrey Police had investigated Sir Jimmy Savile in 2007 and indeed


interviewed Sir Jimmy Savile under caution in relation to that


investigation. ITV got three million viewers for the story.


Peter Rippon's blog says they were investigating Sir Jimmy Savile.


They discovered that Surrey Police had done a perfectly decent


investigation and made recommendations to the Crown


Prosecution Service. Subsequently it was dropped because they thought


there was a lack of evidence. can argue about the fact - Whether


we would have taken... You look at that ITV documentary and you think,


what a story and now everyone else is reporting it. If nothing else it


looks like the BBC wasn't very good of news gathering. With the benefit


of hindsight you might say. That but the editor has to take a


decision at the time. We weren't there at the time. He made an


honest decision. He came to the decision on the basis of the facts


before and decided that wasn't the angle he wanted Newsnight to pursue.


Was that a mistake? It's difficult to say. Given that I wasn't there


and you weren't there. Somebody else might have made a different


decision. ITV made a different decision. Why not running it now,


because they were filming interviews? Newsnight run a story


now, but given the story is out there, there's a limited point.


witnesss are coming forward every day and the BBC is encouraging


people to do so. Why not show the programme now? The fundamentals of


the story are now well established. We know that a number of women were


sex lay buelzed by Sir Jimmy Savile sometimes on BBC premised in the


1960s and 70s. There say big concern about the damage to the


BBC's reputation. The major concern we ought to have is not about the


BBC's reputation. There's no suggestion the BBC was complicit in


what Sir Jimmy Savile was doing. His reputation has taken a huge hit.


The main concern should be for the women abused in this way and make


sure they have an opportunity to get it out in the open, be believed


and finally to put it behind them. Are you satisfied that the BBC's


done everything it can now? I think it needs to look at the situation


are by not about the women who allegedly have been abused but


about the people who were working at the BBC - colleagues and friends


and other presenters and so forth, who to me, going by what I saw, it


was a bit blatant and I'm sure, other people must have seen things


going on who never come forward. For whatever reason, maybe their


job security, who knows. But it's been kept quiet. It's pushed under


the table. You want the BBC to be investigating within... Yes not


perhaps for the police to look at, but for the staff to come forward


and say yes, there was something, I did see something to corroborate


the stories of these aldgeed women. Thank you very much Terry and David


Jordan for coming to speak to us about this.


Let us know your thoughts on that or any other aspect of BBC News.


Details of how to contact us at the end profit Graeme. Now for some of


your other comments -- pro-- at the end of the programme. Now for other


comments. In Mid Wales Tim Willcox was following the continued search


for five-year-old April Jones, while in Manchester, Ben Brown was


reporting from the funeral of PC Nicola Hughes. Both journalists,


normally based in London, were on air for mup of the day. Let's speak


now to Anwyn Morris who is a local resident. Do you know April's


family? I haven't spoke ton them. We're a small community. Everyone


knows everyone in this town. I'm sure, my thoughts are with them.


Let's talk to somebody who met her and who knew her, BerylCowan, who


worked with Nicola Hughes. When you heard the news about her murder and


that of Fiona Bone, what was your reaction to that? We were very sad.


The whole of the street pastors were very sad. Well viewer Elly


Chalmers thought those interviews did little more than fill in time


between news conferences and services and not in the most


sensitive way. She e. Mailed "I couldn't believe it when he asked a


local woman how April's family were bearing up. How does he think they


are bearing up. I'm sure I wasn't the only person to shout at the


TV." "On to the slain police officers in


Manchester, I have just heard a local person asked how PC Nicola


Hughes had been killed. I hazard a guess that they weren't jumping for


news. These two stories demonstrate that parachuting in presenters to


the area shows no nothing to the storys.


Mother of a miss of five-year-old breaks down in tears as she appeals


for the public to help find her daughter. He wrote, "The mother of


a missing five-year-old breaks down in tears, whatever is the point of


such a silly statement and why show the poor woman in her grief. This


is purely sensational reporter, the sort of journalism we expect from


ITV or the red tops." Ellen McNulty had a different point


later that day. "You should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves to


start your News At Ten with the rail news when there is a five-


year-old girl missing. Get your priorities right about what this


country is interested in." Finally those watching Breakfast


shortsly before 9am Wednesday morning got more than they


bargained for. An interview began with the conducter John Wilson the


voice of a reporter could be heard swearing in terms which upset


viewers. "Why was there someone using the F Word in the background.


It would be heard clearly. Leanne also heard the phrase and e. Mailed,


"I do not think that is acceptable." An on-air apology was


made. The BBC later said it was reviewing its procedures, blaming


the incidents on a radio microphone being inadvertantly left on outside


the studios. Police tell us what your reactions are to BBC News. If


you would like to appear on the programme call us or e-mail: You


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