23/11/2012 Newswatch


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in the opened after Thanksgiving. Welcome to Newswatch the BBC has


itself made at the news this week but not everyone is happy about the


way its new leader was appointed or the terms of departure of its pages


-- his predecessor. And in Gaza are, one of the BBC


reporters has re-tweeted a wrongly The BBC has its fourth director


general in a year, if you count the current acting director general,


Tim Davie. Their new boss, Tony Hall, was previously in charge of


BBC News, setting up Radio 5 Live. We will have to see what impact


people have on news output, but Newswatch view was where concerned


about the way he was appointed. -- Another view was used the same


Meanwhile, the reverberations around the departure of Lord Hall's


predecessor, George Entwistle, continued this week, with the


obedience -- appearance of two BBC executives in front of the Public


Accounts Committee. It emerged the concerns were not just a pay-off of


four rather than �50,000 - twice what he was legally entitled to -


but also PR expenses and a year's private medical insurance.


The serious point underlying this is that it demonstrates a complete


lack of understanding of how this is viewed in the public domain,


given that cities licence-fee p a - - licence fee payer's money.


And so, the BBC gravy train There were also concerns this week


over the appointments process of another August institution, the


trick of England. The Prime Minister and both outgoing and


incoming Archbishops of Canterbury seemed to reflect boat wide


disappointment at the General Synod's failure to allow women's


bishops. Did the BBC coverage break impartiality? Yes, one viewer


On Monday morning, breakfast reported on a fungus which has been


attacking one of the most popular species of Christmas tree.


It is not the same as the deadly ash dieback disease, but courts are


worried that this fungal disease could spread, which means perhaps


they could be fewer Christmas trees, and those that are available may be


more expensive. Reporter Charlotte cleaning was in


a forest to find out more. Her asthma Charlotte Leeming.


If there is a shortage, will the price go up?


Because it has been such a wet summer, the trees have responded by


growing marvellously, so there are loads of trees about. I don't think


anyone will have a problem finding an ice tree and the prices will not


go up because there are lots on the market.


Two viewers rang in with their observations.


He pointed out there was no shortage and plenty of trees this


year because of the wet summer. Basically, there Jubilee


everything's said prior to the actual article turned out not to be


true. -- basically, everything said. We what are you doing, BBC Two


might stop scaremongering where scaremongering is not needed.


Much of this week's news was dominated by violence and a


ceasefire in Gaza. As with all conflict in the Middle East,


providing coverage but all sides find balanced is elusive. Hundreds


of viewers contacted the BBC alleging bias towards Israel and


hundreds of others cited what they saw as a bias against Israel. Many


felt there was an example of the BBC's sympathy to the cause on the


Twitter account of a BBC reporter. He re-tweeted the picture from a


Palestinian journalist, a photograph tagged as being from


Gaza. It turned out of the child was from Syria and the BBC reporter


apologised. That was not good It is not the first time Twitter


has got someone in trouble. One tweed from a producer was at the


heart of the row over Newsnight's investigation into abuse at a


children's home, and Lord McAlpine's lawyers are now


threatening legal action against all those who tweeted his name in


connection with that the report. One viewer got in touch recently to


Are there more problems than advantages to BBC journalists are


using Twitter? We need to discuss that is the social media editor for


BBC News, Chris Hamilton. Thank you for coming in. You are encouraging


correspondents took Whitmore, but in this case, although there was an


apology it did to damage and it seemed as though there was an


accident waiting to happen. Yes, I think we are aware of the risks and


disadvantages, potential disadvantages, of a platform like


Twitter. By its very nature it is about instant communication, about


concise communication, and there are pitfalls. We are clear with our


journalists, we have training and guidance that is very clear on how


to use it. Can you summarise some of the key aspects of guidance on


Twitter? We emphasise there are positives


and we truly believe there are many Brotherton's. There is a good


reason we used Twitter and other social media for news gathering and


getting content out there, but we are also clear that people need to


remember they are representing the BBC, they must retain their


impartiality and be careful sounding off about things. We are


very open about that, be published our guidance and a very clear on


what we stand on it. We had 200 e-mails about a bad one


to read from John Donaldson. That undermines a lot of reporting,


potentially. Robert Peston, there are examples about his tweets,


football teams he supports or does not support, he got into trouble of


reading about the royal couple and sex. If big correspondents are


doing this it suggests that training is not as good as it


should be and there is damage being done. I think if you look again at


the overall volume of tweets from any of those individuals, let alone


across all of our journalists, I think there are few examples about


that. One bad tweet, as you know, is all it takes to cause a lot of


damage, and the BBC knows that all too well in the last week.


course, that is true, but considering the volume, considering


the speed, it is a new medium where all of us are working through this,


we are in a very good place, and it is inevitable there will be


problems, but I think the most important thing is the way you


react to those as they happen. That means acknowledging, apologising


and learning the lesson. In the case of the John Donaldson treat -


backed week, should he even have been tweeting that picture?


That is an example of someone on the ground, he re-tweeted it on


good faith and he reacted in exactly the right way - as soon as


he understood it was not what it was reported to be, he issued a


correction. I understand he has deleted it and he will learn


lessons. There has been for this quite rightly on that mistake, but


it is also important to recognise that was one part of some


incredible journals and John was doing on Twitter and on the rest of


our output based in Gaza at at a lot of personal risk telling a


story alongside his colleagues in Israel and elsewhere in Gaza.


clearly heightened editorial sensitivity at the BBC at the


moment, but in the end is Twitter not just still as dangerous? Cup I


do not agree with the notion -- I do not agree with the notion that


Twitter is dangerous. It is just a communications medium, and everyone


has to remember that. There are particular characteristics that


mean care is needed, the speed, the precise, concise nature...


Audience is encourage you to come back to it. But that is part of the


reason we want to be there, because it is an excellent way for us to


directly talk to audiences and licence-fee payers to get their


feedback, to have conversations and find out what they're thinking and


make sure their views are being represented or taking on board when


it comes to editorial discussion. There are risks and downside, but


as long that we have the right checks, excellent training courses


that have been running for some time now, by and large you can stay


at a trouble, and I think we have. Thank you so much. Thank you for


all your comments this week, and if you want to share your opinion is


one BBC News and current affairs, You can also find us on Twitter and


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